Hero Chef José Andrés Opens Restaurant In *Former* Trump Hotel
Hooray, it is nicetimes!
Okay, it is definitely not nicetimes. But when something lovely happens, we should shout it from the rooftops. So ¡Enhorabuena! to humanitarian chef José Andrés, who is opening a new restaurant in the Old Post Office building, AKA the former home of the Trump Hotel in DC.
Andrés, the Spanish-born entrepreneur whose World Central Kitchen feeds disaster victims worldwide, was scheduled to open a restaurant in the same location seven years ago. He'd even met with Ivanka Trump regarding the facility's design, but after then-candidate Donald Trump made racist rants against Mexican immigrants the central feature of his campaign, Andrés pulled out of the deal.
“What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States," Trump said in July of 2015. "They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.”
“Simply put, Mr. Trump’s comments made ThinkFoodGroup’s participation in this project impossible and constituted a breach which the landlord, Trump Old Post Office LLC, refused to remedy. And despite our attempts to negotiate an amicable resolution, we were ultimately forced to terminate the lease," Andrés's ThinkFoodGroup said at the time.
Trump filed a $10 million breach of contract claim, and ThinkFoodGroup countersued, filing an $8 million suit alleging that Trump's comments made it impossible to hire staff. The claims were settled in 2017, in a sealed deal, with both sides releasing positive statements about the other.
The Trump Hotel opened another restaurant, BLT Prime, which became the official meeting place of Rudy Giuliani's Ukrainium One squad and Trumplanders, who were pretty sure that they ran a better than 50-50 chance of getting spit in their food at other local eateries.
Plus they got to put money in Poppy Trump's pocket — win-win!
But no more. Trump is gone, and the hotel recently reopened as a Waldorf-Astoria. BLT Prime, literally the only restaurant in DC that Trump deigned to visit, is out. Bazaar, an outpost of Andrés's signature high-concept family of restaurants, will open later this year.
“To me, it’s very symbolic, to open this restaurant in the heart of the city, to bring Bazaar to the city that gave me so much of who I am,” Andrés told the Washington Post.
He didn't even take the opportunity to talk shit about Trump, because José Andrés is a class act.
“I don’t think it’s bad spirits," he laughed when asked if he would burn sage or conduct some other cleansing ritual before reopening in the space. "The people who worked in that hotel are good people, they are Washingtonians, like me, and they treated everyone with respect.”
And in the face of such decency and sincerity, Your Wonkette will forego our usual snark and just say, God bless.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.