Diners at the Coffee Shop Cafe in McGregor, Texas, Saturday evening received a surprise visit from former President George W. Bush, according to KWTX-TV.
Donald Citrano, the owner of the Coffee Shop Cafe, told KWTX that Saturday’s visit was Bush’s first to the cafe “since he was buying the ranch” in nearby Crawford, Texas.
“Everybody here cheered and loved he was here,” Citrano said.
Bush took the time to walk around the cafe and greet fellow diners, according to KWTX. One of the diners was 6-year-old Jarrett Hubbard.
Debbie Hubbard told KWTX that she and Jarrett — alongside the rest of their family, her husband, Jordan, and their other kids, Jenae, 11, and Avery, 9 — went to the cafe for dinner for the first time the night Bush visited.
“It was one of those moments where you’re going, ‘Oh, my gosh, that was the president,’ but at the same time it was like everyone’s grandpa walked in,” she said.
Debbie Hubbard said Bush and former first lady Laura Bush ate in a private area of the restaurant with friends. She and Jordan encouraged Jarrett to ask the Bush’s security detail if he could say hello.
“Our youngest, Jarrett, went and asked if he could meet the president, after a pep talk from his parents,” Debbie Hubbard said. “We were this close and didn’t want to miss an opportunity.”
She said a Secret Service agent positioned Jarrett near the soda fountain in order for Bush to come out and meet him. Hubbard was able to take a few pictures of their meeting.
Hubbard said she’s having trouble explaining to her kids just how significant the meeting was.
“Because it was so unexpected and such a casual environment, in some ways we look back and go, ‘Wow, that was a president,’” she said. “And trying to explain the significance to the kids. He is a president yet the meeting seemed so unpresidential. He was so friendly. So normal.”
The former first couple later greeted all of their fellow diners:
Debbie Hubbard said she overheard a touching conversation between former President Bush and another fellow diner.
“There was another young couple he turned to and the man was in the Army,” she said. “He told [Bush], ‘It was an honor to serve you,’ and President Bush said, ‘Thank you for your service, but you didn’t serve me, you served your country.’”
She added that “what you see is what you get with Bush.”
“In a down-home country cafe saying 'hi' to everyone,” Debbie Hubbard said. “The graciousness was so classy.”
Citrano told KWTX the former president ate “a famous café burger” while the former first lady ordered “Donald’s Crispy Chicken Salad.”