by: Mark Barber Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The employees at a Waffle House in Charlotte got a big surprise late Wednesday night.
Actor and New Kids on the Block singer Donnie Wahlberg posted a photo on his Facebook page of his check at Waffle House for $82.60 -- with a $2,000 tip.
“My mom waited tables and my dad tended bars -- for years! So, when I walk into a #WaffleHouse, and the staff treats me like a king, you better believe I treat them like queens!” Walhberg wrote in his Facebook post.
Wahlberg also posted a Facebook Live with the Waffle House employees.
(PLAY: Click to watch Wahlberg's Facebook Live I WARNING: Some explicit language)
In the video, Wahlberg hands out tickets to his New Kids on the Block performance in Charlotte on Thursday night at the Spectrum Center.
(Reporter Mark Barber visited the Waffle House. Click PLAY to watch his report.)
The waitresses at the Waffle House off Interstate 85 near Charlotte Douglas International Airport said Wahlberg walked in around midnight and stayed for two hours.
Eleni Katsouvas is one of Wahlberg's biggest fans and she was watching his livestream on Facebook on Wednesday night.
(Katsouvas talks about meeting Wahlberg. Click PLAY to hear her story.)
"I had already taken my makeup off. My hair was pulled back. I looked like I was ready to pass out. All of a sudden, I got this energy, and I was ready in like five seconds," Katsouvas said.
When she heard him mention he was at a Waffle House in Charlotte, she told her brother, and they rushed out to search the one by their house.
They realized he probably just flew in so they drove to a Waffle House one near the airport.
"To see him now, when I'm 40, I felt like a little kid again. Nostalgia is what keeps us going," she said.
Katsouvas said she's glad Wahlberg used her phone to snap a picture with them because she was shaking and her hands would've had trouble holding it.
She was at his concert on Thursday night along with all the other waitresses and customers who received free backstage passes and front row seats from him.
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