There's something about famous people and Indianapolis Waffle Houses.
First, they had Bruno Mars dancing outside of one in August, following a sold-out show at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the release of a new music video. Now, another celebrity has graced the restaurant favored by (drunk?) night owls everywhere with his presence.
Actor Donnie Wahlberg — brother of better-known Mark — was in town Saturday with his son to watch the Celtics play the Pacers (the Wahlbergs are Boston to the core). After the Celtics win, they decided to go to the Waffle House at 2621 S. Lynhurst Drive. for some postgame grub. The win must have put him in a giving mood.
Kassandra Rhea, Indy, was Wahlberg's server that night. She didn't recognize him until another family she was serving told her who he was. She said he was "extremely sweet" and "very down to earth" while he was there, but his most memorable action occurred shortly before he left.
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Rhea said he tipped $1,000 after his meal — $600 for her, $200 for the cook and another $200 for another server. He even paid for the meals of the family who pointed him out to Rhea.
"When I saw that tip amount, I almost had a heart attack," Rhea said. "That was a shocker, and it came at the greatest moment ever."
Rhea said the money will go toward her future purchase of a new car and rent.
Mark Wahlberg has been in tons of popular movies, from "The Departed" to the "Ted" movies to "Transformers," but Donnie Wahlberg also has some notable filmography under his belt. He's a main character in "Blue Bloods" and had a role in the HBO mini-series "Band of Brothers."
And, of course, who can forget about his band New Kids on the Block?
Donnie may be losing to his brother in the popularity contest, but he may now be winning the kindness contest.
Andrew Clark is a digital producer for IndyStar. Follow him on Twitter @Clarky_Tweets.