‘The bear is loose’: President Obama takes a surprise stroll to Starbucks

epa04246979 US President Barack Obama (C) walks down West Executive Drive on the White House campus after making a surprise visit to a Starbucks store...
President Barack Obama walks back to the White House after making a surprise visit to a Starbucks nearby.MICHAEL REYNOLDS / Today

Sometimes when a Starbucks craving hits, you have to take action. Even when you’re the Commander in Chief.

President Obama, clearly craving a tea, decided to take matters into his own hands on Monday afternoon by skipping the presidential state car and instead walking over to a nearby Starbucks to pick up a grande.

He reportedly joked that “the bear is loose” as he left for the errand. Joining him on his afternoon jaunt, which had the press corps running behind him to catch up, was chief of staff Denis McDonough.

TODAY contributor Paul Raeburn was in the Starbucks at the time that the president popped in and said that he greeted all the customers, shaking their hands and asking their names, while also posing for pictures with the coffee ‘s staff. 

“He seemed very energetic and really bounced in and out,” Raeburn told TODAY.com in an email.

NBC News White House producer Shawna Thomas reported that the president greeted construction workers and waved at tourists on his way back to the West Wing. 

This isn’t the first time the president has taken a surprise walk outside of the White House. In May, he decided to walk to his meeting at the Department of Interior, visiting with tourists along the way. He also cracked the same joke during that outing that he did during today’s Starbucks run, shouting to tourists that “the bear is loose.”