President Obama picked a familiar spot for NBC News’ Lester Holt to interview him on Tuesday before his farewell speech. Obama and Holt gathered at Hyde Park landmark Valois Restaurant as part of an interview that will air at 9 p.m. on Friday. Valois has been celebrating Obama’s Presidency throughout his eight years, and they returned the POTUS’s love on Tuesday morning by giving out free breakfasts to customers.
The diner, a cafeteria of comfort food, has long been an Obama favorite. He usually orders egg whites, turkey sausage, hash browns, wheat toast, and hot tea, according to a Valois manager who spoke with CBS Chicago. Check out the menu, which lists the President’s favorites and includes steak & eggs. The restaurant closed at 10 a.m. on Tuesday in preparation for NBC’s interview and reopened on Wednesday (today) at 5:30 a.m.
Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood is where Obama called home while a community organizer prior to his career in politics. The community is always eager to show their appreciation, as Obama has made Chicago his adoptive home. They lined up outside Valois Tuesday morning in hopes of grabbing a glimpse of the President, according to the University of Chicago’s student paper, The Chicago Maroon. Obama isn’t the only one who appreciates Valois: Anthony Bourdain stopped by the restaurant for a 2016 episode of his CNN show, “Parts Unknown.”
The Obama interview is at Valois. People already lined up outside. pic.twitter.com/aHgeeZcDOT— Pete Grieve (@pete_grieve) January 10, 2017
Long lines were a theme on Tuesday as folks waited to enter McCormick Place for Obama’s farewell speech. A Connie’s Pizza kiosk helped feed attendees if they were willing to wait during the speech.
While Obama spent much of his pre-Presidential time in Hyde Park, a North Side restaurant owner showed Obama didn’t discriminate. Check out a gallery of 2004 photos taken at the Heartland Cafe in Rogers Park. DNAinfo spoke with the Heartland’s co-founder who shared photos he snapped from an Obama event during his U.S. Senatorial campaign. The photos will be exhibited at a show that starts on Friday and goes through Feb. 3 at the Uri-Eichen Gallery in Pilsen.