Bar-B-Q Shack employees recall cooking for presidential candidat - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Bar-B-Q Shack employees recall cooking for presidential candidate

Mitt Romney bought some food before leaving Stepto's Bar-B-Q Shack in Evansville, and on Sunday, we're finding out from the owners of that restaurant what it was like to cook for a presidential candidate. 

The owner of Stepto's Bar-B-Q Shack, says he just found out Friday morning that Mitt Romney would be stopping by his restaurant the next day.  But as quick as that visit was, owner Michael Stepto says it's a day he and his employees will always remember.  

"I saw some guys get out of some cars over here and they were taking pictures and looking inside and I'm thinking, 'We're not even near open,' so I got ahold of Mike," said kitchen manager Kurt Tyler.
 
"I was like, 'I wonder what that's about. So, I came down and they'd already left but they came back for lunch," Stepto said.

Those guys, Stepto says, were members of Romney's staff asking to use his restaurant for a speech.

Stepto says the secret service then arrived, doing sweeps of the restaurant and background checks on he and his employees. Also checking the restaurant employees' 20 guests allowed at Saturday's speech.  

Stepto's two children were among that crowd.

"My daughter's experience was just, 'I can't really believe this is happening,'" Stepto said.

Stepto's says his son was making friends with the secret service.

"They were very laid back, very conservative, but they were really fun to hang out with. They were informative, too, on all of our questions," said manager Kelley Rolfe.

"Just the scale and what goes on with that, it's pretty impressive. It's phenomenal," Stepto said.

Tyler says he made Romney's bar-b-q sandwich and two sides.  The presidential candidate didn't get away before signing a Bar-B-Q Shack menu.  The visit, Stepto says, helping display Romney's promise to boost small businesses.

"A friend of mine asked, 'What if somebody from the Obama campaign asked you?' I said, 'Well yeah,  you can't buy this kind of advertising and marketing,'" Stepto said.

"Knowing that he could be president, knowing that I met him. It was very surreal," Rolfe said.

Stepto tells 14 News when restaurant guests ask how their favorite bar-b-q place was chosen for the visit, Stepto says he was simply in the right place at the right time.

Copyright 2012 WFIE. All rights reserved.
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