Root Beer Stand staff in Corbin excited after meeting Coach Calipari

Published: Jun. 11, 2019 at 6:19 PM EDT
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UK Basketball Head Coach John Calipari was in Corbin for a satellite camp when he took a delicious detour.

"You run over the scenario in your mind. You know, what if someone like that were to stop by? But you never expect that Cal is going to stop at your place," says manager Robert Champlin.

Waitress Alice Helton says when she saw Calipari sitting in the passenger seat, she immediately recognized him. However, her co-workers couldn't imagine Helton being right.

"They said no, he's in Northern Kentucky, I said no, he's out here. If that ain't him it's his twin. You know, somebody that looks like him," says Helton, but of course, she was right.

When word spread, the employees still tried to let Coach Calipari eat in peace. However, he insisted that take pictures together.

Calipari posted on Facebook about his visit to the Root Beer Stand.

"Unbelievable hamburger and hot dog," Calipari wrote. "And you know I had to try the root beer float."

The coach snapped a few pictures with the owners and staff before he left, but made sure to tell his followers it is worth driving to Corbin to try the great food.

The Root Beer Stand has been in business since 1956, according to its Facebook page.

Stopped at the Root Beer Stand in Corbin. Unbelievable hamburger and hot dog, and you know I had to try the root beer...

Posted by John Calipari on Tuesday, June 11, 2019

As a local favorite for many since 1967, the Root Beer Stand stays steady in the months they are open. But employees say, this is probably the most publicity they have had.

Champlin says the visit had an immediate impact on their business, with everyone wanting to know what Coach Calipari ate, and he couldn't be more appreciative of the support.

"We have a small reach, we're a small locally-owned restaurant, we're on Facebook. But, nothing to nothing to million people. For a locally-owned business, you can't touch that," says Champlin.

And Champlin adds, he believes it is the hard work from employees that brought Calipari to their restaurant, as they make every work day just as special.

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