Waco restaurant owner served the late legendary journalist Barbara Walters

Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 6:18 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2023 at 6:20 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A number of notable guests like Willie Nelson, Jerry Jones and Greg Abbott have all stopped by George’s Restaurant in Waco. But believe it or not, Barbara Walters was among those served over the years.

It all started when the restaurant’s owner Sammy Citrano developed a relationship with former President George W. Bush. He catered several of his events and even made trips to the White House during his two terms from 2000 to 2008.

Just days before his 2000 inauguration, Bush hosted an event in Crawford that Citrano catered.

“He pulled out of a limousine into this big barn and said ‘Sammy take care of my guys,’” Citrano recalled. “That was the first time the Secret Service had started working for the President.”

Walters was there to interview the soon-to-be president for an ABC News special on him.

“I would say she was just like how she was in person as she was on TV,” Citrano said. “She was always impeccable, friendly and always laughed.”

The wall by the hostess stand at the Speight location has a photo on display of all the notable guests who visited the restaurant, including the picture of Citrano, Bush and Walters.

When the journalist passed on Dec. 30, the restaurant owner said it brought back memories of his encounter with her.

“It’s sad to say that she’s probably in heaven,” Citrano said.

While Walters might be gone now, her big smile will forever greet guests in Waco at George’s Restaurant on Speight.

“A beautiful lady with a big smile and couldn’t have been nicer,” Citrano said.

Walters was so impressed by him and his food, shortly after the event, she sent him a signed photo of them back. Citrano still keeps that photo to this day in his Waco home.