TRUMBULL -- It was hard to even move around inside the Westfield Mall in Trumbull as hundreds of fans filled the front of Wahlburgers. Movie star Mark Wahlberg made his first-ever appearance at the lone Connecticut location Thursday afternoon. Some waited for hours just to see their idol.
“I've been here since 9:45 this morning,” said Mike Sciuto.
“Since 10 a.m.,” said Andy Smith.
People packed into the small area between the Cheesecake Factory and Lord and Taylors just to catch a glimpse and maybe a picture with Wahlberg.
Wahlburgers is the work of Executive Chef Paul Wahlberg, and brothers Donnie and Mark Wahlberg. The family-owned chain was born eight years ago over Paul's love for cheeseburgers. Since then, they have grown to 31 locations including the one in Trumbull. Mark's appearance at the Restaurant caused over a four-hour wait to be seated.
"I was expecting a big crowd. This is a lot more than I imagined," said Trumbull Wahlburgers General Manager Justin Loschiabo.
Loschiabo says the restaurant receives at least one call every day from someone asking if Mark is there. Today, he finally got the chance to say yes.
"It was great to finally get him in town and having him visit the store," said Loschiabo. The deafening cheers of delighted, star-struck fans agreed.
"Thanks, for coming to Connecticut," said Sciuto.
Wahlberg shook hands, hugged and took photos with every single person he came in contact with. His appearance may have been short but the memories for his beloved fans will last a lifetime.