Guests and staff at Minneapolis’ Nolo’s Kitchen & Bar got a surprise Tuesday night when Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s massively popular “Fixer Upper,” stopped in for dinner.
Beverage director Travis Waltz was working at the time and sat the couple at their table.
“They did ask for a private dining experience,” Waltz said. Those plans were foiled when guests recognized the Gaineses and repeatedly stopped by their table. But the stars took it in stride and posed for several photos.
“They definitely had their share of overly friendly patrons that were jumping over to their table trying to get their Instagram photos with them throughout the night,” Waltz said. “They were extremely friendly.”
Rachael Hoff was one of those patrons who got a photo with the Gaineses.
"They were so genuine and down to earth," Hoff said. "When I went to ask them if I could take a picture, Chip was quick to welcome me to sit down next to him. They look and act exactly the way they appear on television. Just amazing people!"
It’s likely the pair were in town for meetings at Target headquarters about their Magnolia collaboration. In December, designer Joanna Gaines came to town (without a coat, oddly), and went shopping for her infant at North Loop kids’ boutique Pacifier.
Nolo’s has had its share of local celebrities — Twins and Vikings players and local newscasters but not so much celebrities of the Gaineses’ level, Waltz said.
Waltz said they spent about two hours at the N. Washington Avenue restaurant. Chip had ribs. “I don’t remember what Joanna had,” he said.
He wasn’t paying much attention at first, not having seen their show.
“I had to ask one of my servers why people kept wanting to take pictures with table 65,” he said. “Oh, they’re huge celebrities? Good to know.”