Obama makes unannounced San Francisco restaurant stop after Democratic fundraiser
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - President Obama's Friday evening turned into a night on the town in San Francisco with an unannounced visit to a small neighborhood restaurant.
The President's motorcade caused a stir along Sacramento Street in Presidio Heights around 7 p.m., when the police motorcycles, flashing lights and secret security vehicles pulled up in front of the restaurant Spruce.
Neighbors on the block were caught by surprise, unable to drive out of their homes as police blocked the area.
"They said oh no, this is security we can't let you out," said Usha Burns, a resident who was told by police that she and her husband couldn't leave by car for their dinner engagement, "My husband said I guess we have to take Uber."
Some said they were glad the President visited, despite the inconvenience of blocked streets and traffic delays.
"It's always good for the city to be in the spotlight. Shines well on San Francisco, the Bay Area," said Susan Hunt, a San Francisco resident who was dining across the street when the President arrived.
Emma Gallagher, who was inside Spruce when the President arrived, said it was nice to see him in the neighborhood.
"It's great. I live in the neighborhood. I was shocked. I mean (it's) wonderful. I like that he came to a random (spot)...you know, this isn't one of the hottest parts of the city and he just happened by so it's great," Gallagher told KTVU.
The day began at Crissy Field, President Obama's takeoff and landing spot in San Francisco, with Marine One and several Osprey aircraft safely shuttling the President to Stanford and back for the White House Cyber Security Summit.
At about 4 p.m., he returned to San Francisco and the motorcade rolled up Russian Hill for a Democratic fundraiser. A white tent was perched along Francisco Street at the home of venture capitalist Sandy Robertson and his wife Jeanne. Some 60 donors paid between $10,000 per person to $32,400 per couple for dinner and a photo with President Obama.
Out on the streets, people gathered hoping to catch a glimpse of the President. Police had patrols surrounding the house and several police boats patrolled the Bay. Police blocked Hyde Street and the cable car route for about an hour.
By 5:15 p.m., the motorcade was on the move again, taking the President back to the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill. The President was clearly visible from his black SUV and one woman snapped a photo off him waving at the crowd.
"It's very exciting. I'd like to meet him in person," said Liz Bamberg-Guzman, of Sausalito, "The legacy that he's leaving that I think is wonderful. That he passed health care is wonderful, an amazing feat."
"I actually saw his face look at us and wave. That's all I want and it was a big deal," said Susan Siegel of San Francisco.
Both women said they supported the President but wished he would do more to help the education system.
One thing that was strikingly different from previous visits by President Obama, was an apparent absence of protestors along his route.
The President is scheduled to leave Saturday morning from SFO to fly to Palm Springs.