Tuesday, June 26, 2012

President Obama Visits The Varsity Restaurant In Atlanta, Georgia

President orders Chili Dogs and Burgers to go during campaign trail eat n' greet...
Stumping through Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday afternoon, President Obama stopped by the historic The Varsity restaurant on North Avenue Northwest for an eat & greet with locals. Established in 1928, The Varsity bills itself as "the World's Largest Drive-In Restaurant," and is known for visits from political candidates. But the President was more interested in drive-out: He placed a to-go order for 5 Chili Dogs ($2.09 each), 4 regular dogs ($1.44 each) and 1 cheeseburger ($1.63), for Press Secretary Jay Carney and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, among other aides. (Above: Shaking hands by the counter)

"Have you guys ever seen Carney eat? It's unbelievable," the President said on Monday during an ice cream stop in New Hampshire.

Clad in his shirtsleeves, the President, trailed by White House photographer Pete Souza, worked the red and white dining room, which features tables designed like school desks and bright graphics on the walls. He greeted patrons, including kids in yellow t-shirts visiting from Lenora Academy in Snellville, Georgia. He gave hugs and took a picture.

"Do you live in the White House?" one kid asked.

"I do live in the White House," President Obama replied. "What have you guys been doing all summer?"

Then the President moved to the counter, where an excited group of Varsity cashiers in red shirts and caps vied to take his order, after holding their camera phones aloft to photograph the historic moment. The President could barely hear the eatery's famous slogan, "What’ll ya have?"

After, he met a young Air Force ROTC cadet, Michael Evans, newly off the plane from nearby Maxwell Air Force Base. Evans just graduated from field training and decided to pop into The Varsity with his parents Robert and Evelyn Evans, reported pool. He was surprised to bump into the Commander in Chief. (Above: Posing with Evans)

"I am very proud of you. Good luck to you," the President told the cadet as he posed for a photo with him.

The President also shook hands with two off duty Marines, who declined to give their names to the pool. The President toted his to-go order in a big white plastic bag as he headed outside to the parking lot, which was filled with a crowd of thrilled onlookers.

He jumped into his motorcade, heading to the event site, the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel.

There, the President had a closed-to-press roundtable with 20 supporters who paid $35,000 each for the opportunity.

After, the President attended a reception at the hotel, with tickets starting at $500 going up to $10,000 for a photo reception and two "preferred viewing" tickets. Organizers also offered tickets for younger 'Gen44' supporters at $250.

The President is on the second day of a fundraising tour through four states; on Monday he was in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. This evening he will attend three events, including a $40,000/plate dinner co-hosted by singer Marc Anthony in Miami Beach, Florida. (Above: The President with his to-go bag)

Info: The Varsity is located at 61 North Avenue NW, Atlanta, GA, 30308. Phone: 404-881-1706.

*Pool photos