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Donald Trump Sneaks Out of Shiny Tower to Eat at Manhattan’s Spendy ‘21 Club’

Trump didn’t tell any of the press where he was going

[Trump photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]
[Trump photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]
21 Club photo by Krieger

Last night, the teetotaler president-elect went to a clubby restaurant where the food is generally awful and everyone drinks a lot. '21' Club has a longstanding tradition of hosting presidents while they are in office. Five years ago, a maitre d’ told Eater that George W. broke the streak, and President Obama never made it in, but Bill Clinton "came several times while he was in office and he still comes back — he's as friendly as ever." Even though the food at ‘21’ Club can be disappointing, this is absolutely one of New York’s classic restaurants, largely because of its timeless decor and superb cocktails.

In a notable move, Trump did not tell any member of the press that he was going out for dinner last night, which is going against protocol. He just left Trump Tower in Midtown without telling the reporters that have been covering his every single move since the election last week. The only way that the press found out about his escapade was because Bloomberg reporter Taylor Riggs happened to be eating at '21' Club and tweeted a photo (she originally misidentified the restaurant as Keens, but made a correction later in the night):

Trump’s spokesperson Hope Davis later told the press that she "wasn’t aware of this movement." 52nd Street was shut down during Trump’s meal, and a small group of reporters was let into the restaurant after he arrived. The president-elect had dinner with members of his family, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

This move is also surprising considering that Donald Trump generally doesn’t go out to eat very much. Instead he stays inside his glass tower eating burrito bowls that Eater’s critic Robert Sietsema once called "an insult to Mexicans every bit as profound as Trump’s previous pronouncements."

Trump is apparently such a big fan of '21' Club that he has a special table he reserves in the middle of the room — it’s the same one that Gerald Ford favored.  The president-elect got a standing ovation upon entering the restaurant. No word yet on what he ate, but one reporter says the Donald washed down his dinner with a virgin bloody mary.

As Trump Leaves Press Behind for Steak Dinner, Incoming Admin Already Showing Lack of Transparency [NBC]

Trump ditches the press [Politico]

Diving Head First Into Donald Trump’s Culinary Abyss [ENY]

All Coverage of Donald Trump [ENY]

21 Club

21 West 52nd Street, Manhattan, NY 10019 (212) 582-7200 Visit Website