CORBIN — “All week I didn’t realize how huge this was until today when I stood out there on the sidewalk and saw the bus pull up and it hit me,” said Mark Shepherd about Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Corbin Friday.
Hosting elected officials is nothing new for Shep’s Place owner Mark Shepherd, but Friday’s United State’s Vice President event was a milestone in Shepherd’s career.
Friday afternoon Vice President Pence, Gov. Matt Bevin and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers stopped in Corbin as part of a bus tour for the Republican Party ticket.
Shep’s Place, named after Shepherd's last name and military nickname, opened in downtown Corbin in December 2018 and has seen a lot of success and Friday Shepherd said the only thing bigger would be if Trump came.
Shepherd who owns other restaurants in town has been host to U.S. senators and other officials over the years, although the grandeur of this event has allowed him to communicate with the U.S. Secret Service.
Shepherd who has been in contact with them since Monday has been impressed with both the professionalism and the kindness of the White House.
“You expect there to be a lot of security,” said Shepherd. “You expect so much security but you also don’t expect them to be as nice as they are. It’s stuff that you only see on the movies. Sitting in on two- and three-hour meetings is only something you’d see in movies and I actually got to live it.”
Members of the Secret Service could be seen all over Corbin on Friday. Snipers were positioned on top of local businesses often seen looking out binoculars and watching both the ground and sky.
The political appearance went smoothly and Shepherd said it’s something he’ll take with him for the rest of his life.
Shepherd said he talked with Pence for a few minutes and said some things that Pence offered to deliver to the President.
“I liked that,” said Shepherd.
Friday was a busy day for downtown Corbin, not only did the Vice President of the United States visit a local business but thousands of children and their parents dressed in costume to trick or treat on Main Street.
“It was a huge day for the city of Corbin,” noted Shepherd. “We’re so far ahead of every town in eastern Kentucky with the nightlife and other things, that today is just showing us how far ahead that we are.”
Shepherd said he wants to keep moving forward and wants the city to keep thriving and he’s humbled the city got to host the event.
When asked how the Republican ticket landed at Shep’s Place, Shepherd said they came to him approximately two weeks ago and asked. He said his son, Brandon, had some involvement with that as he knows individuals in the Governor’s office.
After Corbin's event the bus tour headed to Williamsburg for a first responders roundtable discussion, before ending the day in London.