President Obama Joins Us for Dinner
By: TIA XIERRA, Oct. 24, 2011
President Barack Obama makes an un-scheduled stop at Roscoes House of Chicken'N Waffles on Pico and La Brea Ave. in the city of Los Angeles, Mid City District on Monday. Roscoes House of Chicken'N Waffles is an institution in the Los Angeles area. They have been around for 36 years and have a strong following of devoted customers world wide including past and current United States' Presidents. I received a very unique opportunity to interview Dan Beasley after he hosted President Barack Obama during an un-planned visit to Roscoes House of Chicken'N Waffles located on Pico and La Brea... President Barack Obama is campaigning for his 2012 bid as President again and has two scheduled fund raisers in Hancock Park but before attending a fundraiser where plates are said to be some $35,000.00 a person, his motorcade arrives at Roscoes, the restaurant was full of guest. Imagine sitting down eating dinner in your favorite restaurant and then becoming a part of history when the President of the United States walks in to join you. That's exactly what happened on Monday at L.A.'s historic eatery, Roscoes House of Chicken'N Waffles. One hundred very lucky guest greeted President Barack Obama with a loud applause when the leader of the free world walked in the famous restaurant Monday evening around 5:00pm. President Barack Obama was greeted and welcomed to Roscoes by Dan Beasley, the President then formally greeted the General Mgr, Lisa Hernandez and greeted the patrons with his trademark smile and wave.
Accompanied by Karen Bass (D) Congresswoman, the President was poised and in a very relaxed and right at home posture while mingling with guest, shaking hands and signing autographs. There were cell phone photo ops and plenty of video recording. Needless to say, there were no news cameras in the place. A few of the President's media team who photographed and video taped for their own use were present. I must say I was quite amazed to hear what ThEnterprise Group founder said as I received the only official interview from him. (the one man that had the only true first hand information as to what happened leading to, during and after the President's visit to Roscoes, as the point person to the Secret Service). What Dan Beasley told me leading up to the Secret Service arrival was something straight out of the movies. As the direct contact to the Secret Service, Dan Beasley had plenty to say. But we will just cover a piece. "People really never know just what happens behind the scenes of any Presidential arrival." Said Dan Beasley, the founder and CEO of ThEnterprise Group. Designated by Lisa Hernandez (Roscoe's VP and General Mgr. of Roscoes Pico) to handle the whole affair has placed ThEnterprise Group squarely in the thick of it all. Listen to what Mr. Beasley had to say as he describes the events leading up to President Barack Obama's visit. "First off I'd like to say, for a business to be tapped on the shoulder as the location of choice for a sitting President's visit means several things. One, The location is uniquely popular enough to advance that President's agenda. Two, there must be clear, definitive leadership and structure already in place. Three, the layout must meet pre-defined measures as set by the Secret Service. As I arrived to Roscoes around 3:30pm I noticed some un-usual police activity around the community. Un-usual because there were un-marked service vehicles with senior officers clearing loiters from surrounding corners. Something that LAPD black and white patrol cars usually take care of. I walked in Roscoes, spoke to the staff in preparation for a normal day of activity which usually in tales around 500-1000 guest a day during the week. Around 4:45pm I was greeted by Secret Service. Four officers came in through the back and ask to speak to who was in charge. I led them to Lisa Hernandez, the store's general manager, quite nervous she ask me to join her and lead the charge. As we met in the back to discuss the visit of a very important person. Without disclosing who the VIP was, the Secret Service began to lay out a course of action. With blueprint in hand and a few directives. I proceeded to execute what was necessary to facilitate a successful visit of one of our Nation's most popular Presidents, ever. Though I have hosted two other sitting United States President's visit to Los Angeles. None stood up to the grander of this visit. President Obama's natural connection with the people and sense of subtle command was a very welcoming force that all the guest embraced. I hand chose the individuals that would be present at the counter and my star server, Tia Davis just shined. Every single individual of the staff performed perfectly.
"When the President stepped up to the counter to place his order, it was like taking the order of a regular guest." Said Tia Davis, the server who took the President's order. "You got the feel that there was no threat and what was very rigid nerves by Tia, was quickly eased when the President began to speak." Tia said. The President walked up to the counter and said, "I want to order." I gave him a menu and he looked at the menu and said, "Alright, I'm going to have the chicken and waffles." He took a gasp, looked at the menu and said, "What do I want? Ok, I'll have the Country Boy." I replied, the number 9, that's what made Roscoe's famous?" The President responded with a resounding, "Yes, I'll have the number 9, Country Boy." He then proceeded to ask his staff what they were having and ordered for the rest of his staff. Staying true to his roots, President Barack Obama, in his Columbo moment, turned and said, "Oh, don't forget my hot sauce, I want some hot sauce." Once the President's order was secure he then walked the entire restaurant and nearly shook every guest' hand, spoke to several and he posed for pictures and allowed some memorable video ops. It was an amazing opportunity for every person in the place. The energy that was left in Roscoe's by President Barack Obama still lingers and his presence was felt by guest who arrived long after the President's departure. Some guest cried and some smiled for what seemed like an eternity but the tying factor was, that there is an infectious ora that surrounds and exudes our 44th President. Probably remembered as the most charismatic and welcoming Presidents of our time, maybe none since John F. Kennedy. President Barack Obama's visit to the Los Angeles landmark means a lot to millions of patrons world wide and will be cherished for a long time. Many may not understand this but I rank this visit as probably the most important visit in President Obama's campaign trail and may consequently win him California all over again in his bid for re-election 2012.
The President signed a famous Roscoes T-Shirt, got his food and headed out the door to greet more anxious supporters as they waited outside of the secured perimeter. Un-fortunately only the few that were in Roscoes before the area was cordon off were the only people allowed in the restaurant. All the rest had to wait outside the perimeter until the President's motorcade whisk him off to James Lassider's home and later Antonio Banderas for two scheduled fundraisers that was said to cost upwards of $35,000.00 per person. And I believe the guest at Roscoes who reflect the biggest impact to Americans, as it was a gesture of his grass roots attachment to the American people, showing up at Roscoes. "SIMPLY INGENIOUS." I applaud the President for his decision to stop in Roscoes House of Chicken'N Waffles which has quickly become the envy of community restaurants all over Los Angeles." Dan Beasley did go on to share with me much more from the events of today's Presidential visit. A day for ever etched in the historic pages of mankind. Maybe you or your favorite location will be the President's next stop but as for Angelinos. No one can top the majesty of this major event.