Tim Harris shares a presidential hug

Tim Harris, hugs, president

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – He’s known for serving up hot food with a side of heart-warming hugs.

Tim Harris – whose northeast Albuquerque restaurant Tim’s Place has been made famous by those hugs – got a chance to share one with the president.

He told us about it Saturday.

“I’ve been always born a hugger,” Harris said. “A hugging machine, that’s me.”

For four years, Harris has given that famous hug to a lot of people at his northeast eatery.

On Thursday, he got the chance to bring that hug to the White House for a Special Olympics dinner hosted by the president.

“Tim’s the first one that I know of from New Mexico that’s gone to this dinner, so it was a very special honor for him and for us as well,” said Jena Waddell of Special Olympics New Mexico.

Before that dinner, Harris got to hug one half of the first couple, Michelle Obama.

“She gave me a hug actually,” Harris said.

And the president himself felt left out.

“Tim, I didn’t get a hug,” he said. “C’mon man.”

What happened next was truly unforgettable. Harris says he didn’t know the president wanted one of his famous hugs, but he thinks the commander in chief definitely needed it.

“It felt really awesome,” Harris said. “He wanted that hug ’cause his job is stressful and that hug says it all. Presidents need some encouragement once in a while, too. You know, that felt really good.”

Tim says he also met Katie Perry, Jordin Sparks and Stevie Wonder at the White House.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, he hugged them, too.

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