Update: According to The Globe and Mail, the thief has since mailed the toe back to the bar along with an apology note. The toe is reportedly in “good condition.”
The Sourdough Saloon's toe has gone missing. The appendage is the key ingredient in the Sourtoe Cocktail, the infamous specialty of the Downtown Hotel's bar in the Yukon town of Dawson City. A thieving customer made off with the salt-cured big toe on Saturday, June 17, after drinking his whiskey-and-old-foot cocktail.
This is not the first toe to disappear. The original toe was accidentally swallowed, and since then, the bar has cycled through more than a half-dozen amputated digits, enough that it instituted a fine for any toe-related damage. After a patron purposefully gulped down the toe, put $500 on the table, and left the bar in 2013, the Saloon had to raise the fine for swallowing or stealing the body part to $2500.
The bar’s management is, understandably, pretty upset about the loss. "Toes are very hard to come by," the Downtown Hotel’s Terry Lee said in a media release. This most recent toe was donated by someone who had to have it amputated, and it had to be cured in salt for six months before it could be used in cocktails.
"This was our new toe, and it was a really good one," hotel manager Geri Coulbourne lamented to the CBC. "We just started using it this weekend." (Although the hotel says it has a few back-ups to use in the meantime.)
What's more, the patron shouldn't have even been served the Sourtoe, as he requested it outside of the official "Toe Hours," which run from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. every night, and it was pure generosity on the bartender's part to serve him. That generosity wasn't rewarded, it seems. According to the media release, the man had previously been heard boasting about running off with the toe.
The police are still searching for the thief—who left his award certificate behind—and the bar fully intends to collect its fine.