Thailand’s PM gets taste of Claremont at Eureka Burger
Claremont plays host to many noteworthy people, but rarely does a foreign head of state grab a burger in the City of Trees.
That all changed on Sunday when the Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha, made a quick stop to fill up on some great American burger goodness at Eureka Burger at 11 a.m. on Sunday, February 14.
Eureka employee Winfield Chow confirmed the visit to the COURIER, saying that the Thai leader—flanked by Secret Service agents, his own security detail and a few associates—stayed for about an hour before moving on to Rancho Mirage to meet with President Obama at the annual ASEAN summit.
“It was kind of out of the blue,” Mr. Chow said. “They let us know the day before that he was coming.”
Eureka Burger spokesperson Alexia Penna said the restaurant was initially kept in the dark on who was going to show up.
“We kind of thought Obama was coming, because they were talking about [secret] service men coming in,” Ms. Penna said. “We were not sure who to expect.”
Mr. Chan-o-cha heard about Eureka Burger from a Thai princess, who stayed at a nearby hotel and enjoyed her visit to the restaurant, according to Ms. Penna. The prime minister and his staff dined in a cordoned-off area of the restaurant, but regular diners were still allowed to eat there.
All of this begs the question: what does the leader of a nation of over 67 million people eat at a craft burger joint?
Mr. Chan-o-cha and his group reportedly ate truffle fries, nachos, a watermelon salad and a Bison burger with onion rings, according to Mr. Chow.
Lt. Lori Davenport confirmed that the prime minister was there, and the Claremont Police Department cooperated with the California Highway Patrol to facilitate the visit.
“Everything went fine,” Lt. Davenport said. “We just talked to CHP because they wanted us to know that [Mr. Chan-o-cha] wanted to eat at Eureka Burger.”
According to Mr. Chow, the prime minister enjoyed his lunch, proving that Claremont can satisfy the palettes of even the most high-profile heads of state.