CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Barack Obama and presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stopped at Midwood Smokehouse in Plaza-Midwood, which is about a five minute drive from the Charlotte Convention Center.
The pair arrived at the restaurant at 5:05 p.m.
Employees at Midwood Smokehouse told Channel 9 they didn't know what was going on when they got to work and had to be searched and scanned.
Everyone's cellphones were also taken to avoid tipping off the big surprise that the President would be their customer.
"He came in and announced that he heard we had amazing barbeque and everybody got excited and cheered," general manager Kristen Bobenage said.
There were less than 25 customers inside the restaurant.
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Bobenage said Obama must have been swayed to come in at the advice of some members of the Secret Service.
She said they stopped in for a bite this weekend while preparing for Tuesday's campaign stop, proving there's nothing like word of mouth.
"We already feel the love from Charlotte so it's nice to have it on this kind of level as well," she said.
Obama and Clinton were already at the register ordering by the time reporters who travel with the president got inside through another door.
Obama ordered pulled pork, brisket and a variety of sides. According to pool reporters Obama’s lunch aboard Air Force One to Charlotte was pork BBQ sandwich with coleslaw, at least in the press cabin.
Clinton ordered a chicken and ribs combo.
The president paid for the meal with a credit card.
Obama told a woman seated nearby that he wouldn't take selfies because, "We can't be here too long," but he gave her a nice hug.
A dad and daughter snuck in a selfie from about 15 feet away.
By the time the motorcade pulled out at 5:22 p.m. there were a couple of dozen onlookers on the sidewalk.
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Cox Media Group