President Barack Obama coming to the city isn’t anything out of the ordinary, he did it dozens of times during the campaign trail, but he managed to give some employees at a midtown Gap a huge surprise Tuesday.
The president, along with his security detail naturally, stopped by the chain store’s location at 42nd Street and Third Avenue around 4 p.m. looking for some clothes for the family. Frankie Romero, one of the store’s managers, said they had no idea he was coming in.
“The Secret Service came in 30 minutes before and said we’re bringing someone in and they did a sweep,” he said.
Despite the short notice, the staff was helpful to the president as he made his way through the store. Romero said he chatted with the greeter and other employees who showed him various shirts and clothing.
He took pictures with inquiring customers and also praised the chain for raising its wages. Obama pushed for an increase in the national minimum wage during his State of the Union speech.
“He was very nice and pleasant,” Romero said.
In the end, he bought two cardigan sweaters for Malia and Sasha and a blue workout jacket for Michelle that totaled $154.85.
Unfortunately, not everyone was able to get some time with the commander in chief. Marisol Torres, who has worked for the store for years, was supposed to start her shift at the time that the President came in, but Secret Service agents prevented her from entering until Obama left to attend a fundraiser.
“I was so angry,” she said. “A once in a lifetime opportunity and I miss it.”