Donnie Wahlberg with New Kids on the Block SUSAN PFANNMULLER Special to the Star
Donnie Wahlberg with New Kids on the Block SUSAN PFANNMULLER Special to the Star


Donnie Wahlberg surprises Charlotte Waffle House with huge tip on $82 meal

July 13, 2017 07:14 AM

New Kids on the Block star and actor Donnie Wahlberg visited the Waffle House on Queen City Drive late Wednesday and left one memorable tip — $2,000 for an $82.60 meal.

If that sounds too fantastic to believe, Wahlberg documented the visit in a nearly 11-minute Facebook Live video posted on his Facebook page just before midnight Wednesday. The video had more than 220,000 views and more than 11,000 comments in its first seven hours.

He is in town in connection with a New Kids on the Block concert Thursday night at the Spectrum Center in uptown Charlotte.

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Wahlberg, who also stars in “Blue Bloods” on CBS, also posted a photo of himself with staff members and the receipt. (The bill also covered orders for some companions at his table.) Charlotte TV station WSOC reported Friday that the waitresses on duty that night will split the tip.

“My mom waited tables, and my dad tended bars-- for years!” Wahlberg said in the post. “So, when I walk into a #WaffleHouse, and the staff treats me like a king, you better believe I treat them like queens! Thanks to the team at @wafflehouseofficial Charlotte, NC!”

Donnie Wahlberg just made a lot of friends at a Charlotte Waffle House.
Craig Blankenhorn Craig Blankenhorn/CBS

The video, which appears to have been filmed by Wahlberg himself, shows him sitting at a table at the restaurant and he confesses to having just gotten off a plane after a long day working on the set of “Blue Bloods.”

But Wahlberg also had “The Right Stuff” for another patron at the restaurant. At the table with him is a Charlotte woman named Jasmine, who Wahlberg presented tickets and back stage passes for both her and her mom.

“Who gets tickets and brings their mom? Only Jasmine!” he says in the video, which was watched live by 6,000 people.

The video goes on to include comments on the food, stories of tour pranks and reminiscences of his youth. Wahlberg says he was “the good son” in the family, never out stealing cars, fighting, “robbing things, going to jail.” (That could be a reference to his equally famous brother, Mark Wahlberg, who had a series of arrests starting at age 15.)

The video concludes with Wahlberg leading the patrons and staff in a sing-a-long, with hands waving.

For those wondering what he ordered: steak, eggs, bacon and grits (he mixed the egg into the grits). Oddly enough, no waffle.

This is not the first time Wahlberg has surprised Waffle House staff with a big tip.

People magazine reported in June that Wahlberg visited one of the restaurants at another tour stop in Edgewood, Maryland, and left a $500 tip for three servers to split.