There's one restaurant in New Hampshire where you won't see Presidential candidates kissing babies and yucking it up with the locals over donuts: Colby's Breakfast and Lunch in Portsmouth. The restaurant has a strict no-politicians policy. After a summer and fall full of visits from just about every candidate running, the customers and staff have had enough.
Manager Jessica Labrie made a sign reading "No Politicians, No Exceptions" and hung it on the restaurant door. It's in pretty red, white, and blue stripes, too, so it'll catch the candidates' patriotic eyes. She says the impromptu meet-and-greets are too disruptive. "They make a big deal when they come in here. You can watch all this stuff on the news, but when you're here eating breakfast, you don't want to hear it." Can we please give this restaurant a gold medal?
I don't live in a key primary state, so I have no idea what it must be like to live in New Hampshire or Iowa -- but I imagine it would be annoying for a candidate and their entourage to come barging into a restaurant where I'm eating and want to talk about my vote. I'm there for the pancakes, not the politics. And if I worked at a restaurant and my breakfast rush was constantly being interrupted this way, I would probably go just about berserk.
Colby's is a tiny restaurant with only 10 tables -- and to stay in business, owner Jeremy Colby has to keep those tables full of customers all day long. But when politicians come along, they always want to reserve one of those tables. Colby thinks it's rude. "I also find it amusing that they talk about how the economy and small business is so important, yet they are OK with creating a disturbance that impacts my small business."
And the grossest part? The visiting politicos think they're doing the restaurant a favor! Jessica says the aides will tell her, "'Just so you know, you'll have the pleasure of waiting on Gov. Perry and (Congresswoman) Bachmann. Don't be nervous. Just be yourself and you'll be fine.'" EW! Like that's what the restaurant staff lives for! She usually replies, "I don't know if you really want me to be myself." I wonder how many other primary-state restaurants also ban politicians -- and if Colby's will inspire even more!
Have you ever had your lunch interrupted by a Presidential candidate's visit?
Image via gailf548/Flickr