News & Politics

“Obama—Party of Two”

In the last eight months, the First Family has visited more Washington restaurants than George W. Bush did in eight years.

What’s going on inside the restaurant on the day an Obama visits? Interviews with restaurateurs show that about an hour to 90 minutes before arrival time, the Secret Service calls and says it will be bringing in a “special visitor.” In addition to posting security personnel at entrances and exits to the building, the Secret Service stations agents in the kitchen to watch—though not taste—the food as it goes out.

At Alexandria’s Dairy Godmother, owner Liz Davis says two snipers were on the roof of her frozen-custard shop—she had just a five-minute warning—and after the President and his daughters arrived, no more customers were allowed in.

Blue Duck Tavern chef Brian McBride, who made the Obamas’ anniversary dinner in October, says the President “felt like any other customer.” Really? “It’s Washington—we get lots of VIPs.”

This article first appeared in the November 2009 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here.

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