CHARLES CITY COUNTY, Va. -- Cullen Jenkins has owned Cul’s Courthouse Grill in Charles City County for more than a decade.
During all that time, the biggest celebrity encounter he's experienced was with regular customer, and former Virginia governor, Doug Wilder.
That changed Monday when movie star Ethan Hawke and his daughter Maya Hawke walked into the restaurant.
"We were busy today," Jenkins said, the excitement still in his voice. "Two people walk in wearing masks. These people had it going on. Our servers were busy, so I grabbed menus and silverware and approached the table."
When the Hawkes removed their masks, Jenkins was star struck.
"You gotta be kidding?" Jenkins said to the actors upon recognizing their famous faces. "I gave him a handshake and a fist bump. I had to collect myself. I was tingling."
Hawke is back in Central Virginia a couple of years after he wrapped shooting the mini-series The Good Lord Bird.
He is also known for starring roles in movies like Training Day, The Purge, Dead Poets Society, and Reality Bites.
Maya, the daughter of Ethan Hawke and actor Uma Thurman, appears as Robin Buckley in the Netflix hit series Stranger Things.
"They were both very complimentary of the food and the restaurant," Jenkins said. "I told them I appreciated them coming in."
Jenkins said he was hopeful this experience would expose more people to Cul’s Courthouse Grill and Charles City County in general.
"We think it's the best place in the world," he said. "We're all about treating people with kindness, respect, and love."
He said his restaurant was built on two pillars — good homestyle food and making connections with people.
Have you seen Ethan Hawke around town? You can email information or photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
EAT IT, VIRGINIA restaurant news and interviews.