For years, residents of Chevy Chase DC—and commuters heading toward Chevy Chase, Maryland—have been entertained by the sign outside the American City diner, whose messages have run from come-ons for the diner’s offerings to holiday greetings to political endorsements.
Last year, following the death of owner Jeffrey Gildenhorn, the diner shut its doors after 30 years as the new proprietor, Kramerbooks and Ted’s Bulletin owner Steve Salis, prepared to make over the establishment. But the sign outside continues to offer political messages. For most of September, the message was aimed at the president: “Trump A Liar,” it read.
This week, though, it has a new message: “Trump & Kav U Lie.”
Was Salis, a serial entrepreneur who also founded the local chain &pizza, aware of the messaging? “No comment,” says his publicist. (UPDATE: Salis’s company now believes the message is “a product of some vandals,” spokesperson Leah Frelinghuysen says.) (UPDATE 9/27: Frelinghuysen says they’ll cover the sign Thursday at 3 PM and that Salis “does not get involved with political issues and wouldn’t use his businesses to support any political views.”)
Politicized signage, of course, is no big news in a city where everything—very much including restaurants—has become polarized. But American City diner is unique in one respect: Its location means it is a most likely daily sight for its newest target, Brett Kavanaugh, who lives just off Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase and whose commute back from White House prep sessions, Capitol Hill confirmation hearings, and (maybe) Supreme Court chambers would almost inevitably include a view of American City.
Additional reporting by Michael Schaffer and Jessica Sidman.