President Barack Obama takes a bite of carrot cake during a visit to the P.J. and Company Restaurant August 17, 2008 in Reno, Nevada. The 44th president is well-known for getting a taste of the local fare wherever he travels.
Obama, who will be speaking in New Jersey tomorrow about the economy, is expected to make a pit stop before 3 p.m. to grab lunch at the nondescript sub shop in Edison, N.J., where the most expensive item on the menu is $8.83.
“We couldn’t be more honored," said the business' part owner David Thornton.
Thornton, 57, who has owned the sub shop since 1972 with business partner Carl Padovano, said he thinks White House officials chose his place to have lunch and stage a photo-opp because the shop has been an institution in the Edison since 1963.
“We suspect that it’s because of our long-time standing in the community," he said.
Thornton added that he and several business owners are expected to meet with the president and discuss small business tax breaks and legislation over lunch. The eatery, which usually opens at 9 a.m., will be closed to the public until 3 p.m.
Dining at local mom-and-pop shops is an Obama trademark move. When he visited Buffalo, N.Y., in May, the president had wings at Duff’s Famous Wings in Cheektowaga, N.Y.
After stopping in at Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, Va., on a couple of occasions, the president has made it even harder for patrons to get a seat at the popular burger joint. Thornton said he is fully aware of the "Obama effect" on business.
"We're told to expect a spike in business," he said.
Obama is scheduled to tape an interview on the talk show "The View" Wednesday in Manhattan.