Former Vice President Joe Biden now owns the caricature of himself that used to adorn the Palm Philadelphia prior to the steakhouse’s renovation in 2016.
Palm general manager Julie Sloviter and former PREIT executive chairman Ron Rubin presented Biden with the framed illustration on Tuesday at the National Museum of American Jewish History’s “Only in America” gala. Biden served as keynote speaker at the event, which was held at the Bellevue Philadelphia, where the Palm is also located.
A Scranton native, Biden represented Delaware as a state senator between 1973 and 2009 before joining former President Barack Obama’s cabinet as Vice President. His Palm caricature comes from his time as a senator for the First State.
The caricature was painted directly on a wall in the Palm Philadelphia up until March 2016, when the restaurant closed for renovations after 27 years in business. According to an article from Michael Klein that year, construction workers peeled down about 500 caricatures in order to preserve them and give them to the people who inspired the illustrations.
Prior to its redesign, the Palm was known in part for its thousands of caricatures of regular and well-known Philadelphians alike, as well as national celebrities. The practice is tradition at the Palm restaurant chain, which began putting caricatures of its customers on its walls in New York in 1920, according to the Palm website.
Biden, meanwhile, has taken a liking to Philadelphia in his post-White House life, last year accepting the University of Pennsylvania’s “Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor” role and being named to the school’s Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. Biden also partnered with Penn in 2016 to launch a cancer research initiative following the death of his son, Beau Biden, a 1991 alumnus of the school.
This week, Biden spoke at St. Joseph’s University as part of a lecture series, and discussed public service with students.
“We have to sand up and get involved,” Biden said at his talk, according to CBS. “We have the power to change so many things.”