Michigan State University students soaked up the more forgiving weather as they lined up outside local East Lansing bar Crunchy's, waiting to meet "Top Gun: Maverick" star Miles Teller. However, not everyone was able to make it through the pear green door.
Teller, known for his roles as Peter Hayes in the “Divergent” series and Andrew Neiman in “Whiplash,” was at Crunchy’s to promote his “The Finnish Long Drink,” on Tuesday, Feb. 6.
Crunchy’s announced the event on their Instagram page on Sunday, Feb. 4. In the comments, they noted that tickets were not necessary for entry.
Long Drink Marketing Representative and Brand Ambassador Karyn Thrush found out last Thursday that Teller was coming to Crunchy's. The event was "very last minute," she said, and all local business owners came into the bar the day of.
“Miles is really big into the brand,” Thrush said. “He just wants to show people what Long Drink is all about. He’s very passionate about it. He’s tall, but he’s just a nice guy, it was great to meet him.”
Sports journalism freshman Emma Bowman saw Crunchy's Instagram post and planned on going with her friends. 20 minutes before her class ended, she received a text from her friend saying that they needed a reservation to get into the bar.
“I’m a little upset, because I was looking forward to meeting him,” Bowman said. “Now, obviously we can’t. I wanted to go for my little brother.”
Criminal justice junior Emily Smiley visited Crunchy’s in the afternoon after leaving her class “a little bit” early, where she saw a huge line of people sitting, doing homework and getting food.
“They essentially came up to everybody and were like, ‘if you guys are here to see Miles Teller, you can’t be here, there’s a reservation’ and everyone was like ‘what are you talking about, we were just going to sit here and wait,’” Smiley said. “They were saying that they can’t do that, it’s not fair to people….you could put your name and phone number on the list.”
Crunchy’s ended up hitting the maximum capacity for the list, Smiley said.
“(Leaving class early) was pointless,” Smiley, who came back to Crunchy’s later that day in hopes of meeting Teller, said. “Hopefully we’re able to get in and I would be kind of upset, but I understand it’s a small restaurant, and if I didn’t get in, it will be okay. It’s not the end of the world.”
Digital storytelling senior Megan Lear was one of the few people to meet Miles Teller.
“I have loved Miles Teller since ‘Divergent,’” Lear said. “Coincidentally, one of my top three favorite films ever is ‘Whiplash,’ so the minute I heard he was here, that was all that I could think about. He’s also super hot.”
Lear and her friends came to Crunchy’s at 11:00 a.m. to wait for Teller, but were not made aware of any reservations until they arrived.
“We spoke with them and it just so happens we were able to stay, we weren’t kicked out or anything,” Lear said. “I don’t think anybody knew about it. I think that’s probably on Crunchy’s to be better at communicating about what’s happening. But I don’t know the whole story, they probably didn’t even know the whole story either.”
Crunchy’s bartender Josh Smalley said he only found out “recently” that the event with Teller was happening, and “didn’t expect” the amount of traction it received.
“We had like 80 people standing outside our door before we opened for the day,” Smalley said. “So we started taking reservations because that was the best we could do at the time.”
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German and linguistics junior Holly Ryan saw the post and "shed a few very emotional tears" as they waited in line. Ryan is a huge fan of "Divergent" and the "Long Drink" brand, and brought frisbees, a guitar and a Long Drink box for Teller to sign. However, she also had no idea that she needed to reserve a table.
“But we’re having a good time waiting here, seeing if we can get in,” Ryan said. “It’s a beautiful day and we’re happy to be here. I’d be upset (if I didn't meet him), but it’s worth it for the bit just being here.”
Teller spoke with many students and locals at Crunchy's. He said his favorite line from the "Whiplash" film is, "you turn my pages b----."
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