Fayette County

Channing Tatum surprises Lexington diners and gives motorcycle to a prep cook

While promoting his new movie “Lucky Logan,” actor Channing Tatum made a surprise pit stop at Windy Corner Market in Lexington. Victoria Pittman, left, received a free Harley-Davidson motorcycle during the surprise visit.
While promoting his new movie “Lucky Logan,” actor Channing Tatum made a surprise pit stop at Windy Corner Market in Lexington. Victoria Pittman, left, received a free Harley-Davidson motorcycle during the surprise visit. Courtesy Sarah Smith

Diners at a popular Fayette County restaurant got a surprise Sunday morning when a Hollywood star popped in.

And one cook left work Sunday with a new Harley Davidson motorcycle.

I don’t know what to say to you. I owe you something for this... like my first born?

Victoria Pittman, speaking to Channing Tatum after he gave her a Harley

Channing Tatum was in town promoting his latest film, “Logan Lucky,” and stopped at Windy Corner Market on Bryan Station Road for several hours. Tatum also gave a Harley Davidson motorcycle to Victoria Pittman, a prep cook at the popular Ouita Michel-owned restaurant. It was Pittman’s 20th birthday.

It’s not clear how long Tatum is in town or whether he stopped in other places in Lexington.

Tatum is going across the country to promote “Logan Lucky,” which opens Aug. 18. Tatum posted a video on his Instagram page on Wednesday night and explained that he wanted to do something different to promote the film. Tatum was vague on the details, saying only, “I have some sponsors that might have given me giant garbage bags of cash that I might do fun stuff with.”

“Logan Lucky” is about two brothers who try to pull off a heist in the middle of a NASCAR race, according to a short description of the film on the website IMBD. Tatum stars as one of the brothers. The film is directed by Steven Soderbergh, who directed Kentucky native George Clooney in the popular heist films “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Ocean’s Twelve” and “Ocean’s Thirteen.”

Trying to reverse a family curse, brothers Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde Logan (Adam Driver) set out to execute an elaborate robbery during the legendary Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Sarah Smith, the assistant manager at Windy Corner, said that when she arrived at the restaurant about 8 a.m., there were a lot of vans in the parking lot. Smith said it’s not unusual for large groups to be waiting before the restaurant opens at 9 a.m. Eventually, someone in the production crew knocked on the window and asked to speak to a manager. They wanted to know if they could film Tatum there as part of a promotion for a film.

After checking with Windy Corner’s owners, Smith gave them the green light.

Tatum, 37, was filmed riding a motorcycle on Bryan Station and Muir Station roads. He then came in and ate breakfast. After asking what was best on the menu, Tatum settled on the grits, pancakes and eggs, Smith said.

I don’t know how any birthday is going to top this one.

Victoria Pittman, speaking after Channing Tatum gave her a Harley

“He walked in, and he was just an average guy. He was so nice,” Smith said. “Our diners were flipping out.” He took photos with customers and chatted with teenager girls, who were teary-eyed and tongue-tied, Smith said. “They had it out on social media before I did.”

Then someone in the production crew heard that it was Pittman’s birthday. Pittman said she was in the kitchen when she was told “someone” wanted to talk to her.

She knew it was Tatum. She was excited and horrified.

“They sang me happy birthday,” Pittman said. “Then they told me we had to go outside.”

Outside, Tatum gave her the keys to a Harley Davidson motorcycle, which he had signed.

Daddy was here.

That’s the message Channing Tatum wrote on a dinged-up portion of the Harley

Pittman said Sunday afternoon, hours after her encounter with Tatum, that she’s still in disbelief.

“For about 10 minutes, I kept asking people if I was having like a schizophrenic delusion,” Pittman said. “I thought I was getting punked.”

It’s no joke.

The Harley Davidson dealership in Lexington has told her that she can keep the Tatum-signed bike or pick out a different bike. They also can teach her how to ride a motorcycle, she said. She has never been on motorcycle in her 20 years. She didn’t learn to ride a bicycle until she was 12.

“I don’t know what to say to you,” Pittman said she told Tatum. “I owe you something for this ... like my firstborn?”

Tatum dinged the motorcycle that he gave to Pittman while riding it. He signed the damaged part of the bike: “Daddy was here.”

Pittman, who has worked at Windy Corner for a year, said it’s fitting that Tatum showed up on her 20th birthday.

“On my 16th birthday, I went and saw ‘Magic Mike,’” Pittman said. Tatum stared in the 2015 movie, about a group of male strippers.

“I don’t know how any birthday is going to top this one,” she said.

WKYT also reported that Tatum stopped in Morehead to visit Harold White Lumber. The business was closed late Sunday. Details of his visit to Morehead were not immediately available.

Beth Musgrave: 859-231-3205, @HLCityhall

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