President Obama wanted to eat at Bea's, but... - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

President Obama wanted to eat at Bea's, but...

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Sticky Fingers was proud to serve President Obama during his Tuesday visit to Chattanooga but it may not have been his first choice. The owner of Bea's Restaurant says he received a call from the secret service, asking if the president could have lunch there. The problem was, Bea's isn't open on Tuesday.

The owners at Bea's say the conversation only lasted 10 seconds and that they weren't given an opportunity to say yes or no. Part-owner Doug Bradshaw said secret service simply ended the conversation.

"Just the whole thing has been blown out of proportion and taken out of context," said Bradshaw.

Bradshaw says he's under social media and internet fire, people claiming he denied the president a Chattanooga staple when it comes to food.

Not the case says Bradshaw, he remembers the phone call took from secret service, "I asked the date, they told me and I said we're closed Monday and Tuesday. They said thank you and hung up. That's it. 10 seconds maybe."

Bradshaw says they didn't give him time to even discuss opening on a day off, which he says he would have done, "most definitely, I'll open in the middle of the night for the president. If he wants to come here and eat, I'll open."

More specifically open to the public as well, because when President George W. Bush came to Chattanooga in 2007 he too wanted to eat at Bea's but only if it was closed to the public.

That's where Bradshaw draws the line,I said I can't close my door to my regular customers, I will provide the president with a private place to eat. But as far as closing my doors to the people that keep me in business, I will not do it and I never regret that decision."

Bradshaw wants the public to know he says he did not tell President Obama he wasn't welcome.

Should ever re-visit the Scenic City Bradshaw said, "I'd love to give him some fried chicken man, I wouldn't even charge him."

Mr. President, there's your official invite.

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