A busy Friday night at Branford’s Tommy Sullivan’s Café quickly turned legendary when Ed Sheeran popped into the pub around midnight on Sept. 28. The British singer-songwriter arrived as part of local wedding entourage, on a day off from his ÷ (Divide) Tour that’s packing stadiums across the U.S.
Café owner Maeve Sullivan told Zip06/The Sound in an exclusive interview on Sept. 29 that Sheeran appeared without notice at about midnight, together with his fiancé Cherry Seaborn (fans speculate the two secretly married in August) as well as the local wedding’s bride and groom and a group of about 40.
“He stayed and hung out for a while with a whole wedding party they were part of. It was kind of crazy,” said Sullivan, who was working the bar when Sheeran came in.
“It was super busy,” said Sullivan. “He came in and he was with about 40 people from the wedding, and they were all friends together and knew each other. And I had some customers here – like the coaches from the Branford High School football game – and some of my regular customers, and he was taking pictures with them.”
Sheeran’s extended North American tour recently included a two-night engagement at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on Sept. 21 and 22 that sold 107,500 tickets and generated $11.2 million, according to www.billboard.com But the vibe in the Branford pub on the night Sheeran showed up was like “a normal night,” said Sullivan.
“Basically, the whole feel of the night was a normal night, with some friends coming in from a wedding; and the bride and groom were there. It was just like a nice gathering of friends and they had a lot of fun. I was just happy that he chose to come to Sullivan’s to have a pint!” said Sullivan.
Sullivan said the pub’s regular guests were respectful of Sheeran’s space and that Sheeran was equally respectful and generous in sharing his time with others during the surprise visit.
“He was super nice. He was very polite and just kind of hung out with his friends, but he did walk around and if anybody wanted a picture he would do it right away,” said Sullivan, who also had the chance to take a selfie with Sheeran and two of her friends and co-workers, Jillian Denault and Oksana Limberger, who bartended for Sheeran’s party.
“Everyone left him alone when he was sitting with his friends, but if he got up people would talk to him and ask for pictures and he was really nice,” said Sullivan. “He took one with one of my friends, Fred Hurley, who’s a retired New Haven cop. He was so happy to see him and sent it to his granddaughters, who are huge fans,” said Sullivan of Hurley’s granddaughters, Tess and Ava Ferrie of Branford.
Sheeran took selfies with several other Branford fans including Jessica Holmes, Scott Holmes (vice president/assistant coach Branford Youth Football) and Tiffany Tracy; and family and friends from Sullivan’s next-door business neighbor, W.S. Clancy Memorial Funeral Home. Sheeran later headed out after a memorable visit and on the way to his next gig, PNC Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA on Sat. Sept. 29.
“He said he was flying out early in the morning,” said Sullivan. “It was honestly like your friends came to the bar after a wedding. They were just hanging out.”
Sullivan also squelched a rumor that Sheeran had come to Tommy Sullivan’s Café once before.
“Not that I know. I highly doubt that. People like that don’t pop in,” she said.