'Things happen': President Biden cancels visit to Elk Grove Village restaurant

  • President Joe Biden was scheduled to visit Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue in Elk Grove Village on today, but the meal was canceled. "It would've been perfect," manager Sue O'Brien said. "Things happen."

    President Joe Biden was scheduled to visit Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue in Elk Grove Village on today, but the meal was canceled. "It would've been perfect," manager Sue O'Brien said. "Things happen." Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 10/8/2021 10:27 AM

Twice in two weeks, employees at Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue restaurant in Elk Grove Village eagerly prepared for a visit from President Joe Biden.

And twice in two weeks, their hearts fell when the White House canceled the reservation.

 

The latest disappointment came Wednesday night ahead of Biden's planned visit to the suburb on Thursday. Manager Sue O'Brien got the call.

"It would've been perfect," O'Brien said of the planned luncheon for the president and more than 20 other diners. "We were all excited."

But the sit-down meal of chicken, ribs, beef brisket and all the appropriate sides was not to be.

"Things happen," O'Brien said.

Serving hungry customers at 800 E. Higgins Road, Sweet Baby Ray's is across Higgins from the Elk Grove Technology Park, the focal point of Biden's visit to the Chicago area Thursday.

The award-winning joint was chosen for a presidential pop-in because one of the owners of the Sweet Baby Ray's in Wood Dale knows someone on Team Biden, O'Brien said.

The restaurant was to be closed to the public during Biden's lunch. Instead, patrons were able to come in and enjoy the food as usual.

Despite Biden's cancellation, Sweet Baby Ray's wasn't left out of the hoopla. Secret Service agents came to pick up takeout for the gathering, O'Brien said.

Anti-Biden protesters outside the restaurant had cursed at and harassed O'Brien and her employees when they tried to deliver the food, she said.

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