If you’ve spent any time in the Corbin area, you know about the Root Beer Stand. The simple drive-in restaurant has been serving footlong hot dogs and root beer floats to patrons since 1956, and earlier this week, they received a visit from the most famous man in the state. After his team hosted a satellite camp at the Corbin Arena, John Calipari stopped by the Root Beer Stand for some grub, and today, the manager, Robert Champlin, otherwise known as “Root Beer Stand Robert” to KSR listeners, called in to tell us about it.
“One of our waitresses came in and said, ‘That’s John Calipari.’ I said, ‘There’s no way that John Calipari is at our restaurant.’ And I walked outside and sure enough, it was him.”
Robert went over to say hello, but made sure to give Cal his space.
“I told him, ‘We’re honored to have you, but we’re just gonna leave you alone and let you eat your meal’ and I thought that was going to be it.”
It wasn’t. After Cal finished his meal, he came up to the window to order a root beer float.
“You always imagine what it’s going to be like meeting someone like John Calipari but he was absolutely as nice as anyone could possibly be to me, the staff, everyone. He finished his meal and I thought he was just going to go on his way and he got out of his car and came up to the window and said, ‘Hey, I want to try a root beer float, and do you want to do some photos?’ I said, ‘Well, you know if you start taking photos, what’s going to happen.’ He said, ‘I’m prepared for it. Let’s do it.’ And sure enough, he took photos with me and my father, our staff, and immediately everyone started getting out of their cars, wanting to take photos and he stood there and took a photo with every single person. He was just incredibly nice to everyone.”
Stopped at the Root Beer Stand in Corbin. Unbelievable hamburger and hot dog, and you know I had to try the root beer float. It’s so good it’s worth driving to Corbin to try. Thanks to owners Robert and William Champlin and the staff for letting us come by. Great place! pic.twitter.com/1iKHLDLK9k
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 11, 2019
As for that photo, Robert wants to clear one thing up: the socks he was wearing are compression socks, which help the circulation in his legs since he’s on his feet all day every day.
“If I hadn’t been in the process of completely fanboying out about him being here, I probably would have taken the time to take them off before taking a photo that three million people are going to see. That slipped my mind at the time. That wasn’t a priority.”
You can hear Robert’s call halfway through Hour 1: