- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Workers at Hamilton’s in Auburn were star-struck when celebrities Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn stepped into the almost-empty restaurant for dinner.

Vaughn and Gibson visited Hamilton’s after a private screening of the upcoming movie “Hacksaw Ridge” in Fort Benning at Columbus, Georgia, on Sunday. After hearing praise about Hamilton’s the two traveled to Auburn, about 45 miles from the Army base.

Vaughn and Gibson’s security guard informed the staff the two were about to come in and requested a private table before they entered the restaurant, which is a block from Toomer’s Corner in downtown Auburn.

“We honestly didn’t believe this guy,” said bartender Danielle Johnston. “Then they walked in and we were just like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’”

Johnston said the two kept to themselves in a back corner booth while business continued as usual. But she couldn’t help sneaking to the back of the restaurant to look at the table.

Johnston, who has worked at Hamilton’s for two years, said she felt the most pressure she had felt as a bartender when Vaughn requested a bloody mary.

“I was like, ‘OK, if I cannot please Vince Vaughn with a bloody mary, I need to quit my job,’” Johnston said, adding that she tried to make it as perfect as possible. “I was so relieved and excited as soon as I saw him finish the rest of it. He loved it.”

At the request of the owner, the staff took a photo of Vaughn and Gibson posing with chef Patrick Gallagher for their “wall of fame.” Vaughn also agreed to take a few photos with staff and guests.

Gibson is no stranger to the Fort Benning area, having filmed portions of the film “We Were Soldiers” there in the early 2000s.

Directed by Gibson and starring Vaughn, “Hacksaw Ridge” is about an Army medic who became a conscientious object and won the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War II.

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Information from: Opelika-Auburn News, https://www.oanow.com/

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