Obama To Dine In Hyde Park Before Farewell Address

CHICAGO (CBS) — Before making his farewell address in Chicago, President Barack Obama will fuel up at his favorite diner in Hyde Park.

The White House hasn’t confirmed the president’s dinner plans, but Valois in Hyde Park confirmed Obama plans to dine there before his speech. It’s unclear exactly when he’ll arrive.

For some folks who couldn’t get tickets for the president’s speech Tuesday night at McCormick Place, the next best thing was to eat at his favorite breakfast joint in Hyde Park.

Valois offered customers the president’s go-to meal for free Tuesday morning – eggs, potatoes, sausage or bacon, toast, and coffee or juice.

“He usually does some egg whites, some turkey sausage, hash browns, wheat toast, and some hot tea,” manager Gianni Colanussi said.

Obama never forgot about the Hyde Park diner, even after leaving Chicago for the White House. Tuesday’s dinner there will be at least his fourth visit to Valois as commander-in-chief.

“Everything will be pre-set for him, and whatever he’s wanting to eat in the evening is what we will prepare for him,” Colanussi said.

If Colanussi already knew what Obama planned to eat for dinner, he wasn’t offering any clues.

“I know some things, not all things,” he said.

University of Chicago sophomore Diego Ruiz couldn’t get tickets to Obama’s speech, so he was hoping to meet him at Valois and shake his hand, but he’ll be out of luck. The restaurant is closing early to prepare for the president’s visit.

“Do whatever it takes. I’ll stay here as long as it takes, and just keep getting breakfast all day long,” he said. “Get a job as a bus boy, temporarily, for the day, just to see maybe see Obama.”

Just knowing the 44th president would be there in a matter of hours was enough to get diners excited Tuesday morning.

“It’s kind of like a different way to spectate politics; to eat breakfast where the president eats. It’s kind of just like hyping us up for the speech,” University of Chicago student Mahi Senthilkumar said.

Woodlawn resident Susan Rashaz said it was great Obama is visiting his hometown for a while in the last days of his presidency.

“Everyone here is a big fan of Obama. We’ve known him for quite some time, so any time he come is exciting for us and the neighborhood,” Colanussi said.

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