(Updated at 1:20 p.m.) Vice President Joe Biden stopped by Liberty Tavern (3195 Wilson Blvd) in Clarendon this morning to film a segment for a TV news show.
Biden was one of the guests on the MSNBC show Morning Joe, which filmed a roundtable discussion on gun reform at the restaurant.
It’s not the first VIP visit for the Clarendon restaurant. President Obama dined at Liberty Tavern on October 27, 2011. Biden, for his part, is no strangers to popular Arlington eateries. He had lunch at Metro 29 Diner on Dec. 7, 2012.
Biden and his security detail arrived at Liberty Tavern around 11:00 a.m., Clarendon Patch reported via Twitter. The Vice President left at 12:15 p.m., flashing a big smile and a thumbs up to a crowd that had gathered across the street. Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski stood outside O’Sullivan’s, across from Liberty Tavern, to see Biden’s departure.
Liberty Tavern co-owner Mark Fedorchak said Biden and the other guests were served pastries and coffee from Northside Social, which he and his brother Stephen also own.
Fedorchak said Biden “was very conversational” and talked with him about their mutual northeastern Pennsylvania roots. As it turns out, Biden used to enjoy going to the Scranton-area Circle Drive-In Theatre, which is owned by the Fedorchaks’ uncle.
That wasn’t the only incidental connection between Biden and Liberty Tavern’s ownership group. Restaurant co-owner and local developer Brian Normile got a chance to apologize to Biden for accidentally driving a ball into his golf foursome during a recent trip to Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
The Vice President apparently didn’t mind. According to Fedorchak, Biden wrote a gracious note on a menu before leaving the restaurant.
“Next time lunch, thanks for the hospitality,” it said.
Photos by ARLnow.com except as noted
Vice President Joe Biden hosted a lunch at Arlington’s Metro 29 Diner (4711 Lee Hwy) this afternoon, to discuss the country’s trek toward the fiscal cliff.
Biden arrived at the restaurant around 1:15 p.m. to meet with seven people who say their finances would take a hit if the country goes over the fiscal cliff.
One of the attendees, Anne Marie Munos, lives in Falls Church. She was chosen based on her online response to the White House request for citizens to discuss why Congress should extend middle class tax cuts.
“I can’t see how we can afford to pay more taxes,” wrote Munos. “We certainly won’t be able to boost the economy because our buying power will suffer even more than it already has.”
Biden said it would take “15 minutes” for a bill to get finished if Congress agreed to let taxes on the wealthy increase.
“This is no time to add any additional burden for middle class people,” said Biden. “The downside of going down this cliff… is real.”
The lunch visit was not announced in advance, and other customers were not prevented from using the restaurant during the visit. Biden and his guests were taken to a separate section of the restaurant and guarded by security. Patrons were allowed to enter the restaurant after going through a security check, and a few dozen gathered around to listen to the Vice President speak.
After finishing lunch with his guests and spending some time taking photos with other customers, Biden left Metro 29 Diner around 3:00 p.m.