Saturday, August 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Let them Eat...nothing!

Capitol cafeteria to close for two months.

Let them Eat...nothing!

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Good news. The twice-cursed Capitol cafeteria that offers breakfast, lunch and snacks to thousands of state workers, lawmakers, lobbyists and tourists is being taken over by a new vendor.

BE: I remember when it was shut down after they found it infested with rodent droppings. Can you imagine? The state Capitol infested with vermin!

JB: In more ways than one. Anyway, Philly-based Aramark is out and the Corbett administration this week announced the contract goes to a women-owned Harrisburg company, C&J Catering.

BE: Women are cleaner than men.

JB: And less fond of rodents.

BE: So everyone can eat and snack worry-free.

JB: Right, but not for a while.

BE: The switch will take a couple days, huh?

JB: Uh, actually, a couple months. And during the busiest time of the Capitol year. The cafeteria will close at the end of next week. And the new guys, er, gals, are bringing all sorts of innovations. Things such as on-line ordering, live cooking demonstrations and even "Market Fridays" with fresh, local produce for sale.

BE: Want sprinkles on that fresh produce?

JB: Be nice.

BE: OK. The new deal sounds good.

JB: It does. Problem is, after next week it remains closed until Memorial Day. And April and May are the heart of state budget battles when the Capitol teems with protesters, lobbyists and all-day meetings. Couldn't pick a worse time to be without sustenance.

BE: Guess they'll have to pack a sandwich.

JB: Or boost the Harrisburg restaurant biz. Maybe that's Corbett's plan for helping our capital city deal with its impending bankruptcy.

BE: Maybe it's how Corbett's making government leaner. Let them eat nothing.

JB: Grrr.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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