It is common knowledge to locals and non-locals alike that former President George W. Bush, or “Dubyah” as some fondly call him, resides in Dallas, Texas in the Preston Hollow neighborhood. Since settling in Dallas, he and Laura have appeared several times on Southern Methodist University’s campus and there continues to be quite a buzz over the planned George W. Bush Presidential Library.
A little-known, fun fact about “Dubyah” is that several Dallas restaurants have permanently reserved a table for the former president, should he happen to grace those establishments with his presence. This has become something of a trend since the Bush’s moved to Dallas. Among the establishments that have a table permanently reserved for “Dubyah” are the Twisted Root Burger (the one located off SMU Blvd.), the Lemon Bar, and Primo’s.
These are no ordinary tables. No, that would not do. They are bespeckled, bejeweled, ostentatious and creatively funny affairs meant to entice “Dubyah” to patronize the establishment, on the one hand, and to honor him (in a unique sort of way) if and when he ever does, on the other.
Twisted Root Burger, which opened its doors on the first floor of the Shelby apartments near SMU earlier this summer, has a line of wooden booths along the back wall, each having an overhead light fixture just above the table. However, “Dubyah’s” table is special. Hanging above it is an unexpected, random, yet elegant small crystal-glass chandelier, a touch of formality and propriety amidst the lavish neon Budweiser signs and the many big-screened TV’s that otherwise dominate the scene. Embedded in “Dubyah’s” table top are beer bottle caps formed in the shape of the SMU mustang. And, just in case customers miss the significance of all those aesthetic details, there is written on the wall in big, bold, black letters the words: IF GEORGE W. COMES IN THIS IS HIS TABLE.
“He hasn’t come here yet, but he lives just up the road,” said Robbi Lewis, manager. “I can’t wait until the day he walks in here and we get to remove the customers sitting at his table to make room for him.”
The Lemon Bar has had a George W. Bush table since they opened last September. Their reserved table is oval-shaped with a red, white, and blue patriotic theme. The plaque at the table states it is reserved for George W. Bush if he sat there.
No, he has not sat there. Not yet, anyway. The owners of the Lemon Bar feel it’s pretty likely the former president will drop by. Hope for a “Dubyah” appearance springs eternal.
“Nick Galanos, Chris Meaker’s business partner, he’s actually the one who thought of and created the George W. table,” said Joseph Nielsen, general manager of Lemon Bar. “It was something he thought was kind of funny and fit the random theme of the Lemon Bar.” What began as a joke, though, has grown into a fixed expectation as owners and staff alike continue to wait for that fateful day when “Dubyah” will come and sit at “his” table.
The reserved table for Bush at Primo’s, a Tex-Mex restaurant, is definitely understated compared to those at Twisted Root and the Lemon Bar. There is no artwork, no special chandelier, no words painted on the wall, no inscribed metal plaque bearing his name. Placed above the table on the wall is simply an article set in a red, white, and blue matted frame.
“We have an article that says if George W. Bush was to walk in we would ask you to move tables and the Secret Service will pick up your tab,” Billy Roberts, the assistant general manager of Primo’s, said. “It was written that way to make it kind of funny, but obviously Primo’s would do that.”
Roberts believes ever since Bush moved back to Dallas, the “Dubyah” themed, reserved tables began to grow in popularity.
“We’re hoping he’ll stop in one night, since we have a table for him, but I don’t know, this can be a wild spot sometimes,” said Roberts, laughing.
So, the anxious question being asked in local area Dallas restaurants is, “Where is ‘Dubyah’?!” Like little children leaving cookies and milk for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, these great, unique restaurants have prepared a place of honor for him, awaiting the day when he will come. If he does, there will likely be a good deal of light-hearted laughter, except by the hapless couple or family who, mid-bite, is forcibly ejected from “Dubyah’s” table.