Sunday Survey: Your most memorable 'famous person' restaurant encounter?
I’m sitting here sorting through the giveaway entries, checking out the overnight Twitters, and doing laundry. Typical Sunday morning for me. @macratlove tweeted (twittered?) this, which is inspiring this question:
What’s the most memorable famous-person encounter you’ve ever had in a restaurant?
In my brief few months working the front desk at a restaurant in Manhattan, I had the chance to encounter quite a lot of famous, semi-famous, and they-think-they-are-famous customers. Most were quiet and courteous, but some were pretty rude. A select handful were downright obnoxious. (I’m thinking for instance of one particular Japanese ‘celebrity’ who thought she was Entitled to extra-special treatment. Or the famous domestic guru who showed up without a reservation on a Friday and expected to be seated right away, and got rather snippy when it wasn’t happening. Or a certain Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner who had to have his imminent arrival announced several times by his hotel concierge, with all kinds of instructions beforehand, and then ended up not showing up at all. And on and on…)
But, my most memorable Famous Person Encounter is not one of the bad ones. One summer’s night, as my colleague and I tried to deal with a packed restaurant and a growing line of waiting customers, one tall gentleman showed up with his blonde companion (his wife). He was wearing a sort of greyish jacket with a black t-shirt underneath. As my eyes traveled up the shirt to look at his bespectacled face, I realized that it was Steve Jobs.
Now, I’ve been a Mac user since the early ’90s. I was at first a reluctant convert from the PC, but my new workplace was Mac-based, and within a short time I had seen the light. I’ve stuck with Apple every since, even in the dark, dark days when it seemed as though it was either going to go out of business or become a PC clone maker of some sort. Anyway, to me Steve Jobs was a God.
Unfortunately, his [very expensive 5-star hotel]’s concierge had screwed up the time of his reservation by an hour. And, apparently he was used to sitting in front of his favorite itamae-san at the sushi counter whenever he came to New York. Panic! Panic! Fortunately, the guests who were sitting at his spot were ok with being shifted a bit to the left, so we somehow squeezed Steve, er Mr. Jobs, and his wife in, and all was well. Neither of them made any kind of fuss, and stood waiting patiently for some minutes while we figured things out. (None of the other restaurant staff were impressed in the least by him by the way; most didn’t even know, or care, that he was The Steve! To the itamae-san he was just one of his regular customers! Philistines, I tell you.)
So that’s my most memorable Famous Person Restaurant story! How about yours?
(My most recent Famous Person encounter was at JFK airport a couple of weeks ago. I saw Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the baggage claim area, leaning against the wall, waiting for his bags just like the rest of us! That dude is tall. He looked very young and spritely too.)