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Trump makes surprise stop at Machine Shed in Davenport

Staff at the restaurant say he ordered pot roast dinners to be delivered to a Davenport fire station and several pies to bring home to Florida.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — At first it just seemed like any other day at Machine Shed in Davenport.

Server Karen Kuehl was about to leave for the day when around 4:00 p.m. she started hearing that "something big was about to happen."

An hour later, former President Donald Trump's motorcade pulled up outside and he came into the restaurant for an unscheduled stop before speaking at the Adler Theater Monday night.

"Definitely not, I wouldn't have expected, no," said Kuehl, who's worked at Machine Shed since 1983. "We've had a lot of country music and comedians and things like that come in, but never the former president, that's for sure."

"All the sudden Secret Service just showed up," said Front House Executive Matthew Kaperka. "They said that they had a protectee coming in within 20 minutes, which I started putting two and two together knowing that he was in town."

Trump was only there for a few minutes. He shook hands and took pictures before Kaperka said he ordered a pot roast dinner to be delivered to one of Davenport's fire stations and several pies to bring home to Florida.

"He got a Snickers, he got a banana cream, coconut, chocolate cream, apple, cherry," Kaperka said.

Kuehl and some of her co-workers called the visit "awesome."

"It was kind of exciting actually," she said. "Secret Service started running in and we're like, okay, something's happening."

"Who are these really tall men walking around with earphones?" server Mallory Phelps said.

They added that Secret Service was really strict about not letting people touch him and Trump complimented them on their uniforms.

Roger Barwick is a maintenance worker at the restaurant and said he was called into work to make sure the parking lot was clean. He was standing outside when Trump arrived.

"It was awesome," he said. "Used to seeing him on TV. Great seeing him in person."

Barwick is confident the former president will be back in the Oval Office come 2024.

"I think he's gonna win," he said. "I think he can get us out of the big debt we got."

But for now, it's a day at the restaurant staff say they won't forget.

"I think it says a lot that, you know, an individual with his title and you know, prestige that they take time out of their schedule to stop in and see the people everyday life," Kaperka said.

This was Trump's first visit to Iowa since launching his third bid for the presidency.

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