People craving a slice of pizza at Area Four in Cambridge Monday were forced to find a different spot for lunch — President Obama had reservations there.
The president attended a fund-raiser at the eatery following the dedication of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston.
Obama’s appearance at Area Four was part of a Democratic National Committee “roundtable” fund-raiser at the restaurant, according to his White House schedule. He arrived just before 2 p.m., and left roughly an hour-and-a-half later.
Thirty supporters who contributed up to $33,400 reportedly dined with the president and his entourage.
On Facebook, Area Four announced it would be closed for lunch in advance of the president’s arrival.
“We’re hosting a private event [Monday] afternoon, so no lunch and no cafe for the entire day. Sorry we won’t be here to perk up your Monday morning,” the post said.
Traffic and access to roads surrounding Area Four were also affected during Obama’s brief appearance in Kendall Square.
Morgan Fleishman, who works at a nearby MIT building, said streets were barricaded by large trucks and roped off with yellow tape, and armed security officials could be seen on nearby rooftops. At least three bomb-sniffing dogs were combing the area before he arrived, she said. The windows at the restaurant were also blocked off while the event took place.
Despite the heavy security, her co-workers were excited to have the president in town.
“People [were] lined up at the windows and taking pictures,” she said. “It’s something you don’t see every day.”
She said everyone was in a “pretty cheery state.”
Obama was in town with first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to celebrate the opening of the Kennedy Institute, built to honor the legacy of the late senator and serve as a learning space for students to understand the importance of the Senate’s role in passing and making laws.
Kennedy served as US senator from Massachusetts from 1962 until his death in 2009.
After his speech at the opening ceremony, Obama had time to visit privately with members of the Kennedy family, before his motorcade took him from Dorchester to Cambridge, according to White House pool reports.
During a visit in 2013, Obama made a stop at Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe in Boston’s South End to grab a burger, before appearing at a pre-election rally for Senator Ed Markey.
After buying a cheeseburger and fries at the spot, Obama reportedly left a good tip.Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.