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Campaign Politics Are Playing Out in Detroit Restaurants This Week

Republicans and Democrats are causing commotion and controversy at local eateries

Kuzzo’s Chicken and Waffles
Michelle and Chris Gerard
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Apparently the fight for Detroit’s votes will play out in restaurants. All week long representatives from both major party campaigns have been dropping into Detroit and making their case to voters in a last-ditch effort get them to the polls. The stops have resulted in surprise and some controversy.

Clinton Campaign Stops in Eastern Market and The Avenue of Fashion

On Thursday, former President Bill Clinton made a surprise visit to Germack Coffee in Eastern Market as he stumped for wife and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, Clinton camp supporters U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and Reverend Jesse Jackson landed on The Avenue of Fashion for a visit to Kuzzo’s Chicken & Waffles, according to Metro Times. Kuzzo’s has become a favorite spot for visiting politicians. HRC herself ate at the restaurant in March while Mayor Mike Duggan and HUD Secretary Julian Castro paid the restaurant a visit in 2015.

#Detroit Caucus Chair @RepBrianBanks, Senator @CoryBooker, and I out stomping for @HillaryforMichigan at @kuzzoschickenandwaffles RT

A photo posted by Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (@detroiteducator) on

Speaking with BLAC Detroit during his visit to Kuzzo’s, Booker expressed interest in furthering the conversation of “an urban agenda for America.” He added, “America can’t succeed if our cities don’t succeed. I’m excited that Secretary Clinton has an idea of not just supporting people that are struggling, but investing in communities to grow opportunity.”

Donald Trump, Jr. Event Catering Controversy

Meanwhile, across the street longtime Avenue of Fashion eatery 1917 American Bistro has been taking heat from some customers who believe the proprietor is supporting Donald Trump in the election. Chef/owner Don Studvent was spotted at an event on Wednesday at the neighborhood Republican Party headquarters where Donald Trump, Jr. was speaking.

While Studvent confirmed that he’s not a Republican or a Trump supporter, a gallery from The Detroit News featuring a shot of Studvent has been shared widely on social media, according to BLAC. The photo has since been removed by the News, though a video of the Trump event still features the chef in his grey uniform in the background. Some critics have elected to take out their anger on the restaurant’s reviews.

Studvent tells BLAC he cast his vote early this year for Hillary Clinton but made a business decision to cater a breakfast for the Michigan Republican Party, whose members have been regulars at his restaurant since their office opened nearby in 2013. “I wasn’t thinking,” the chef says of his decision to cater the event. In retrospect, Studvent adds: “You can’t say that politics doesn’t have a place in business because it affects your business.”

Hillary Clinton is scheduled to visit Detroit again this afternoon for a get-out-the-vote rally at Shed 3 in Eastern Market, so there’s still time for yet more restaurant stumping.

Bill Clinton Dropped by Germack Coffee in Eastern Market on Thursday [ED]

Cory Booker, Jesse Jackson visit Kuzzo's Chicken & Waffles in Detroit [Metro Times]

Sen. Cory Booker, Jesse Jackson visit Kuzzo’s to campaign for Hillary Clinton [BLAC]

1917 American Bistro Owner: 'I Am Not a Trump Supporter' [BLAC]

All 2016 Presidential Election Coverage [ED]

1917 American Bistro

19416 Livernois Ave, Detroit, MI 48221 (313) 863-1917 Visit Website

Kuzzo's Chicken & Waffles

19345 Livernois, , MI 48221 (313) 861-0229 Visit Website