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President Obama Visits Chattanooga Tennessee
NOTE: According to News Channel Nine in Chattanooga, none of this happened because the Secret Service doesn't announce Presidential visits three weeks in advance. And they are denying that they ever made a call to the owner of Bea's Restaurant. Make of that what you will . . .
From the Chattanooga Times Free-Press
The phone call ended, but like heartburn, trouble followed. Word got out. People started chewing on assumptions and rumors, and with a little help from the Lazy Susan of Internet gossip and Facebook, the story, told across Chattanooga, had suddenly turned into this:
Bea’s wouldn’t serve lunch to the president.
“That’s ridiculous,” Bradshaw said.
In these awful days of social division, where we assume and predict the worst about one another, Bradshaw found himself in a hot mess of accusations: racist, political and more.
“Vulgar,” Bradshaw described it.
Much of it was generated by Facebook and the Internet, something his grandparents and their telephone-on-the-wall-in-the-parlor generation could never have imagined (Bea’s had been in business 34 years before FB founder Mark Zuckerberg was even born).
“It’s not political and it’s not racial,” Bradshaw said. “It wasn’t a refusal.”
The Secret Service just never asked if Bea’s would open on Tuesday; like some jittery preteen, the agent hung up before Bradshaw could even suggest it.
“What greater honor could we have than the president?” Bradshaw said.
Channel 3, WRCB, Chattanooga
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Sticky Fingers was proud to serve President Obama during his Tuesday visit to Chattanooga but it may not have been his first choice. The owner of Bea's Restaurant says he received a call from the secret service, asking if the president could have lunch there. The problem was, Bea's isn't open on Tuesday.
The owners at Bea's say the conversation only lasted 10 seconds and that they weren't given an opportunity to say yes or no. Part-owner Doug Bradshaw said secret service simply ended the conversation.
"Just the whole thing has been blown out of proportion and taken out of context," said Bradshaw.
Bradshaw says he's under social media and internet fire, people claiming he denied the president a Chattanooga staple when it comes to food.
Not the case says Bradshaw, he remembers the phone call took from secret service, "I asked the date, they told me and I said we're closed Monday and Tuesday. They said thank you and hung up. That's it. 10 seconds maybe."
Bradshaw says they didn't give him time to even discuss opening on a day off, which he says he would have done, "most definitely, I'll open in the middle of the night for the president. If he wants to come here and eat, I'll open."
More specifically open to the public as well, because when President George W. Bush came to Chattanooga in 2007 he too wanted to eat at Bea's but only if it was closed to the public.
Comments on Bea's Restaurant Facebook Page
I tried to manage things here on the page as best I could the other day. I'm a lot greyer today than I was on Tuesday. God bless each of you.
Like · Reply · 13 · 13 hours ago
I looked through your posts to find what you had posted earlier about "the call." Evidently I have over looked it or it has been deleted. But from what I read in your posting and shared with a friend when I read what Bea's posted...There seems to be some tweaking to the story today and the posting I can not find on your page. Enjoy your day.
~ Beverly H
Bea's Restaurant Replies to Beveryly H:
Well. I deleted that post because it wasn't intended to incite anything. I wrote it on my phone that is tiny.. And realized I didn't convey what I was trying to convey. In short when they called it was a 45 second call, and when I wrote " we said no" I meant to say that we said " we are closed and there was no call back number because we don't have caller ID".. Not mention it was busy. I wrote that post on an old phone.. In a car with two kids in the back.. And I didn't get it all written like it was supposed to be, then I got home an hour later and it had become something it never should have been.
Like · 10 hours ago · Edited
Bea's Restaurant I couldn't delete or edit on my wife's phone either, and what everyone is missing is that it wasn't the big deal that some want to turn it into. I mis wrote miss conveyed.. Whatever. I'm sorry.
Like · 9 hours ago
A LOT of stuff got blown out of proportion during this recent presidential visit. Just silly. Life goes on--and in another 3 years, no one will care what happened last Tuesday anyway.
I want to say something, and I do NOT want to start an argument or drama for our friends at Bea's.
I think it is truly SAD , the way people are coming out of the woodwork to crucify a fine,long standing and historic establishment over a situation, that most people, clearly, are not 100% informed. I had hoped the article that was released from the Press this morning, would clear it all up. Sadly, there are those that still choose to berate and belittle the situation.
I am PROUD to live in the same area as an awesome place, that has kept its morals, its business practices, and even kept its prices fair in a really bad economy. Bea's isn't ike a chain or franchise. They reach out to us all, in person and on FB. They are what makes America, AMERICA... I know they didn't "turn away" , anyone, it was a brief call that has been blown WAY out of proportion.
Comments from WRCB TV Story:
LOL...Sticky Fingers sucks anyway...Rib N Loin is much better.....Way to go Bee's you just lost every black customer in Chattanooga.
When President Reagan came to town, his chief of staff delayed the takeoff of Air Force One so that they could get burgers from Krystal!
The president wanted to come to my house too. But I told the secret service that my house was closed 24/7 to a president to abuses his executive power and signs bills without advising anyone else.
I think that's pretty darn pushy and inconsiderate to call someone unannounced give them a few seconds and hang up. Don't even give them the time to weigh their options like are they for real, can I open on an off day, can I staff enough people, do I have enough time to organize it, what are the repercussions, could we handle customer complaints and so on. You can be an important somebody and still have manners. And how in the world do you live in Chattown for 21 yrs and never hear about Bea's? lol
With his tight schedule, I am surprised if the president got to wolf down anything before he had to board Air Force 1 and leave. I haven't heard any comments about whether he liked his meal or not or any comments about Chattanooga in general. We are old news, on to other things.
I wouldn't allow Barack Obama to eat off my toilet bowl. I'd rather invite someone over who is NOT hateful of this country and its citizens to eat.
I wouldn't have opened my door at home for him to come eat!!
Never eaten there, but will now.
I don't know that it has much to do with race, but I do think it's a disrespectful snub, and probably more politically charged than anything else. I don't know of any business owner who wouldn't have gone out of their way and opened their doors for a president they supported. Seems to me like it was just an opportunity to tell the President "screw you." What a unique honor, to have been selected of all the potential eateries in the city. Such a lost opportunity.