January 10, 2017

Valois, Obama's Favorite Hyde Park Restaurant, Sets Up for Interview Later Today

A Valois employee cleans the front door of the restaurant in advance of the interview.

Pete Grieve / The Chicago Maroon

An NBC News crew and Valois staff are setting up the 53rd Street restaurant for anchor Lester Holt to interview President Barack Obama in a few hours.

Around 11:30 a.m., people lined up outside the restaurant asked an NBC crewperson when the interview would begin. The crewperson said “much later.”

A sign in front of the cafeteria read “Thank You Mr. President!” and announced free breakfast from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.: “Please join us as we bid farewell and express our gratitude to the President, Barack Obama, for eight great years.”

Yesterday, when asked by The Maroon if the Obama interview would take place at Valois, three different employees said they didn't know about an interview.

The president is known to frequent the restaurant, which features a “President Obama’s Favorites” menu and hosted a breakfast victory party after each of his elections. In 2014, Obama had breakfast at Valois with former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Valois manager Tom Chronopoulos said the president ordered “Two over bacon, hash browns, wheat toast, cup of hot tea.”

After the interview, Obama will give his farewell address to the nation at McCormick Place at 8 p.m.



Lester Holt to Interview Obama Tomorrow at a Hyde Park Restaurant

By Pete Grieve and Jamie Ehrlich

NBC declined to provide the exact time or location citing security reasons.


January 9, 2017

The Spirit of Valois

Jason Lalljee and Anant Matai