The iconic Red Arrow Diner, a beloved institution in Manchester, New Hampshire, recently gained national recognition as it was featured on the renowned Newsmax National Report. Co-owner Amanda Wihby had the opportunity to sit down live with Newsmax hosts Shaun Kraisman and Emma Rechenberg over Zoom for an exclusive interview that shed light on the diner’s recent 2024 presidential candidate visitors.
During the live interview on Newsmax National Report, Amanda Wihby eloquently shared the story behind the Red Arrow Diner, which has been serving locals and visitors alike since 1922. With its nostalgic ambiance and warm hospitality, the diner has become a cherished gathering place for generations of patrons and famous visitors. Wihby discussed how the Red Arrow Diner has managed to maintain its charm and authenticity over the years, despite the increasing popularity as a must-stop political destination in New Hampshire.
Watch the full Newsmax National Report interview with hosts Shaun Kraisman and Emma Rechenberg below or click here to watch on the Newsmax YouTube channel.
That of course is Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, greeting several diners there, arguably at one of the most famous diners in America. The Red Arrow Diner. This is in Manchester, New Hampshire, opening its doors in, get this, 1922. The landmark diner became known as a recurrent stop for politicians on the New Hampshire primary campaign trail one of the first in the nation. Again, during the presidential primary season, as you see many, several of our former presidents.
I was going to say, the photos speak for themselves. The owner says every president in recent history has come through the diner at some point during their campaign. I guess presidential candidates and also future presidents. We see Hilary Clinton there. For more on this, let’s welcome in Amanda Wihby, the Co-Owner of the Red Arrow Diner. Hi, Amanda, how are you doing today?
Hi, good morning. Thank you for having me, I’m doing well. And yourself?
We’re doing great. Thanks so much for taking the time answering our call. We know its busy in the diner, and of course, you see a lot of familiar faces. Tell me about what you’ve experienced so far with the 2024 campaign.
So far, it’s been a whirlwind. We’ve had Vivek come through, we’ve had Senator Tim Scott, Governor Nikki Haley, and most recently, Governor Ron DeSantis. And, of course, President Trump.
You know, it’s interesting because we’re looking at some pictures right now of, again, Nikki Haley, who stopped by, Ron DeSantis who stopped by, and so many different hopefuls here, and obviously several Republican hopefuls is what we are seeing right now. I’m curious from your front row seat that you have, who was the one who walked in and garnered the most attention, Amanda?
So far, it’s been President Trump. He draws the largest crowd as of this point.
So, you see the most people when Trump walked in. Obviously, they have their cellphones out, ready to go. There’s a video of him there. Actually, we have, I believe, this video here of President Trump coming to the Red Arrow Diner, and there’s a name for it, I think. You called them the Red Arrow Virgin. In 2016, then presidential candidate Donald Trump paid a visit for the first time and your staff can be seen devirginizing him the Red Arrow Diner way. Let’s watch.
Red Arrow Virgin, you know what that means. We have a Red Arrow Virgin right here, Donald Trump from New York. Let’s give him a welcome, Donald!
Talk to me about this moment.
He took it very well.
He’s no longer a Red Arrow Virgin anymore. He has obviously been there a few times. You even have a menu item about Trump. Can you tell me about that?
Yes, following those handshakes, he ordered a burger. It was called the Newton Burger at the time. There it is right there. It consists of a fried mac and cheese ball, an 8-ounce angus hamburger, cheese sauce, and two grilled cheese sandwiches served as the bun. He ordered that and enjoyed the whole thing, so we asked his son if we could name it the Trump Tower Burger on the menu and he obliged.
How about that? A custom menu item there. Amanda, we were showing photos of course of presidents that are on the Democratic side of the political aisle. Talk to me about what it’s like when you have different viewpoints coming in. Does everyone get along with each other despite being so far apart politically?
New Hampshire has been doing this for a very long time, and here at the diner as well, we are open to every politician on either side of the aisle. They’re cordial to all of them. They’re really grateful to shake their hands, ask them questions. You know, its grassroots politics down here in New Hampshire. We are grateful to have that, and everyone plays nice in the sandbox here.
You know, I’ve got to say thank you, by the way, to some of the customers. They’re being so quiet during this TV interview. Diners are typically loud. You must have said hey, can we keep it quiet for this? Who is the gentleman behind you here?
That’s Co-Owner George Lawrence right here.
Hello, nice to see you.
Thank you for asking!
Of course. George, what are you having today, and how excited are you to see so many presidential hopefuls there?
Very exciting. It’s unbelievable. It’s great. A lot of people.
All the history that you’ve been able to experience throughout the years, truly. Amanda and George, either one of you here, when you see a presidential candidate walk through the diner, is there something about their presence that is a sign that you look for when it comes to the possibility that they might actually make it to the White House? Is there something, a characteristic, that seems to apply to all of those who have served as Commander in Chief?
There are some that come right over, and they come to see the customers. They shake the customers’ hands, they answer their questions, and they look them in the eyes. That seems to be the driving force of what brings them to the White House I would say.
The big news today, as you have heard, Amanda, is that the Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, is going to officially announce his candidacy for president tonight at 6:00pm. He’s going to do it on Twitter with Elon Musk. He came to your diner before launching that presidential bid. Can you talk to me about that moment?
We were very welcoming to have him there. We were surprised to have him, to be honest. We didn’t know he was coming until right before he showed up. He came in, he walked behind the counter, he spoke to all of the customers. He actually got a 2-for-1 that day because we had a customer visiting from Iowa. He was able to talk to a citizen from Iowa that was visiting here for the first time, and she asked him a direct question. I believe that is her, actually. He did wonderful. He spoke to everybody and gave everybody a lot of time.
That’s incredible. Again, just the fact that you’ve had so many people who have been in the news over the last several decades. I’m wondering, both Amanda and George, is there someone who stands out in your mind that you could never forget about an interaction that you had at Red Arrow?
That’s a tough one. I find them all to be with the people. They’re welcoming.
President Trump definitely stands out in mind. He draws a very large crowd. He is very patriotic when he comes here, and there’s not many people we are able to devirginize, and they take it in stride.
We see some photos here. Clearly your walls are filled with pictures as well to mark all of the memorable occasions here in New Hampshire, home to this famous diner, the Red Arrow Diner. Been around for decades as every presidential hopeful stops by to greet those diners. By the way, again, thank you so much for being so quiet there. We’ll let you get back to enjoying your food, your coffee, this early morning. Amanda Wihby and George, we appreciate that so much. We hope we will see you again very, very soon.
We hope so as well. Thank you, Sean and Emma.
Thank you. Have a great day. Take care. Fill up on the coffee!