Wednesday, June 25, 2014
The scene was reminiscent of a legendary Bill Murray sighting in Charleston, when the “Ghostbusters” star sat down across from a woman at McDonald’s, snatched a couple of french fries and dryly opined, “No one will ever believe you.”
That is what happened to Abbie Brown of Brown’s BBQ on June 6, when U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner popped in unexpectedly for lunch.
“We were done with the lunch rush on June 6 and the phone rang and the person on the other end said we were going to have someone special stopping in for lunch and would that be okay?” she recalled.
Brown said it would be fine and set about to cleaning up the dining room.
It was around 2:30 p.m., Brown said when “two guys came in and asked to speak with me.
“They said the Speaker of the House was in town and wanted to meet Henry Brown here for lunch.”
Brown said it was about 20 minutes later when five or six tan Chevy Tahoes pulled up out front and stopped traffic.
To secure the building, agents stating they were from the Washington, D.C., police entered the restaurant and stationed themselves at all of the exits.
“That’s when John Boehner walked in and asked if it was okay if he ate some lunch,” Brown said.
“He was a normal looking guy and if it hadn’t been for all the secret service agents we might not have recognized him,” Brown said of the unexpected visitor.
Brown said some of the customers recognized the Speaker of the House right away and others didn’t have any idea who he was.
“John Boehner walked in and said, ‘I’m here to eat lunch with Henry Brown.’ I told him that Henry wasn’t here, but he’d be along shortly and about 10 minutes later, Henry came in and they ate lunch,” she said.
Brown said Boehner “really liked the food,” having the barbecue and fried chicken.
“He had two desserts also, the banana pudding and the carrot cake,” Brown said. “He seemed like the kind of guy who didn’t eat a lot of sweets, but after he had the banana pudding, Henry Brown said, ‘You’ve got to try the carrot cake,’ so he had a piece of carrot cake as well.”
Boehner had flown in that morning to play a round of golf with the former First District Congressman.
The group was at the restaurant for about an hour.
The speaker posed for a picture and signed a Brown’s BBQ T-shirt before leaving.
“It’s not every day you have the Speaker of the House come into your restaurant to eat lunch, so this was pretty special,” she said.