One of the pubs in Amherst became a crowd stopper when President Obama stopped by to get some bites and beer. The pub was called Ziggy’s Pub and Restaurant.
Locals named Randy and Michele Crnobrnja had witnessed the rare occasion.
“We come here quite frequently,” she said. “We were just here at the right time.”
The frequent customer Michele even got two lucky kisses from the president – only on the cheeks of course.
But the crowd didn’t have to get kisses to be enthusiastic about it. “Everybody was very excited,” she said. Applauses and cheers were heard from the restaurant’s customers when the President entered the room.
Other than cheek kisses, the President even let people take photos and chatted with people while they dined in. In some of the cases, Obama even talked to other people over the phone.
“He was very personable,” she said. “He went down the bar and then table to table. He really worked the crowd. He made sure to ask everybody their names ... and he made sure to address everybody by their names, so I thought that was cool,”
But as security measures were high, precautions were made by secret service agents. People were required to cooperate with the search before everyone continued. Either that or you leave the room but of course, who would miss such opportunity? The area roads were even closed, causing a tad bit of traffic at SR 2 and SR 58.
Most of the people in the restaurant didn’t bother the traffic or the security procedures done during the scene. Discussions such as education, affordable care act, or even just a plain ‘how are you’ were made during his stay. Even non-Obama fan, Jack Yukovich had a nice experience with the President in the short period of time.
“He said, ‘Hi, how are you,’ and that was about it, It was okay, it was a good experience.” said Yukovich, a democrat who opposes the policies of Obama.
The big fuzz wasn’t actually a dine-in experience. The President was actually there for his take-out order of a large half sausage, half pepperoni pizza, ribs, an order of buffalo wings and beer. But even if it was a pretty short visit, the surprise was still memorable to most patrons.
Restaurant manager Samantha Davis shared that she had no clue of the said event but only a call from the owner, Larry Niehart, ensuring that the place was pleasant to look at. Around thirty minutes after the said call, one of the commoners revealed themselves as secret service men ad had informed her of the situation.
“If you were here, you were allowed to stay,” she said. “At about 5:45 p.m., the building went on lockdown.”
She also complimented Obama saying that he was a real gentleman. “He took his time,” she said. “He greeted everybody, walked down the bar, took pictures and got a couple of beers.”
Davis also made sure that Obama experienced a memorable visit, giving the president a small token – a Ziggy’s shirt.
“Hopefully, he’ll be wearing it to bed tonight,” Davis joked.