Hanks for the memories: A-lister drops in on Tweed eatery
IT WAS just a standard Saturday afternoon at Mavis' Kitchen & Cabins for manager Ricky Burchielli until one the biggest film stars in the world walked through the doors of the Mt Warning business.
Mr Burchiellei was taken completely by surprise when Tom Hanks and his small group asked for a table at the restuarant near Uki.
"It was very unexpected," Mr Burchielli said.
"He had been up on Mt Warning and it was very hot so he came to have lunch with a few friends."
The Hollywood superstar visited during some downtime while waiting to film the new Elvis biopic on the Gold Coast.
Hanks, a two-time Academy Award winner, found a quiet seat in the venue's garden.
He is a nominee for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Mr Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood this year.
Mr Burchielli explained he had a few chats with the star, including showing him a snake skin found at the restaurant, but kept things professional.
"He was one of the most down to earth celebrities I have ever met," he said.
"I like to think of myself as a 'cheeky bastard' and no matter who I meet I like to have a laugh with respect of course."
The Venice-born local of seven years explained the venue had also played host to other A-listers like Usher and Naomi Watts across the years.
"It's great for the region to get this kind of exposure," he said.
"I understand why they come as I went travelling, was meant to meet some friends in Murwillumbah, found this area and fell in love and never left."
Mavis' owner of 13 years, Peter Clarke, said it was delightful and humbling Mr Hanks had chosen to eat at the business.
"If it's good enough for Tom Hanks it is good enough for Mavis," he said with a laugh.
"It's certainly good to put the area on the map when people of international profiles come to visit."