Obamas Celebrate First Granny's Birthday in Old Town

Majestic Cafe serves up a birthday meal

What with Twitter and all, just how's the First Family of the United States supposed to get a quiet night out for dinner to celebrate the Grandmother-in-Chief's 73rd birthday in Old Town Alexandria?

But they did, we were assured, only after Twitter "Fons and Berrys" started lighting up around 8 p.m. Thursday with Michelle Obama sightings at the Majestic Cafe on King Street in Old Town.

Meshelle Armstrong, co-owner of the casually swank restaurant which serves "pure and simple American classics," confirmed to Local Kicks the birthday dinner after First Lady Michelle Obama, her mother and birthday celebrant Marian Shields Robinson, and daughters Malia and Sasha departed around 10 p.m. in a cloud of Chevy Suburban smoke.

Cars were triple parked on King Street and the facade's glass windows were smudged by hands and faces of the curious, all clamoring to gain entry.

"They were celebrating a birthday, we were told," Armstrong said.

The birthday they were reportedly celebrating was that of Robinson, the "First Granny," as Michelle Obama's mother has been dubbed by media outlets.

Twitter reports had the security detail at about 12 serious-looking Secret Service agents. not including the sharpshooters on the rooftop of the 75-year-old art deco restaurant, which is a state landmark.

Chef Shannon Overmiller prepared and cooked the Obamas dinner while Restaurant Eve's Chef and Majestic co-owner Cathal Armstrong expedited the food for the evening.

"To her exceptional credit, our General Manager Maria Chicas followed our PPX protocol and did everything in her power to protect their privacy while they dined to allow them to feel comfortable and secure while at The Majestic," Armstrong said, presumably referring to their well-rehearsed "Public Person X" strategy. "So much so, that I only learned they were there via a text message sent to me from a regular guest as they dined next to the First Lady!"

The Majestic Cafe was rehabilitated in 2003 by a group of Old Town investors led by Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA ) and his wife Lisa Collis, along with Alexandria developer Murray Bonitt and former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer and his wife Megan.

The Obama family just adds to the celeb factor at the Majestic.

In late February, diners became momentarily breathless when val Kilmer sauntered in out of the cold with an unidentified couple, wearing a black jacket, jeans, sandals and socks.

The 49-year-old actor, who was staying five blocks away at the newly-opened Lorien Hotel, ordered the Majestic meatloaf and vanilla cake, which he reportedly washed down with some very nice red wine.

It was not the first visit to Alexandria by the Obamas. Last month, on a muggy Saturday before Father's Day, President Obama treated his two daughters to a custard run in Del Ray.

To read more about the Obamas' visit to the Majestic, visit LocalKicks.com.

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