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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Culinary no-no #259

Culinary no-no's



Republican presidential hopefuls were out in full force in Hawkeye State eateries prior to the Iowa caucuses.

Republican presidential candidate former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) poses for a picture while hosting a Pinstripe Bowl watch party at Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar on December 30, 2011 in Ames, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)


Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signs a shirt during a campaign stop at Doughy Joey's Pizza in Waterloo, Iowa, Friday, Dec. 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Supporters listen to Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as he speaks during a campaign stop at Homer's Deli and Bakery in Clinton, Iowa, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)


Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., center, makes a campaign stop at the Black Bear Diner, Friday, Dec. 30, 2011, in Sioux City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


Members of Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann's, R-Minn. campaign team hold a sign for her to read during a campaign stop at the Nodaway, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Some (not all) of the candidates have moved on to New Hampshire. But they’re not welcome at Colby’s Breakfast and Lunch in Portsmouth.

September 2010

On the menu: chocolate chip pancakes, cinnamon swirl french toast, a bacon florentine omelet, classic sandwiches. What you won't find...


Jessica Labrie, a manager at Colby's Breakfast and Lunch on Daniel Street in Portsmouth has created a sign for the door that reads "No Politicians No Exceptions" as a courtesy to dining patrons. Rich Beauchesne photo 

Colby’s has but 28 seats. Business in this quintessential small business is dependent upon turning over tables and doing it quickly. Owner Jeremy Colby doesn’t see that happening if a White House candidate and his/her entourage stampede through the doors and completely take over.

"I don't appreciate Joe Blow coming in here and whoring around the dining room for votes.”

For Colby the breaking point came last week when Joe Blow did pay a visit.

Know who that is?

Any idea at all?

You say you couldn’t name the guy to save your soul?

No surprise.

That’s former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, and he, too, would like to be president, a prospect that has less than a snowball's chance in hell. Rodney Dangerfield would have possessed better odds, so don’t feel bad for drawing that blank.

Roemer’s candidacy died just moments after he declared but he simply has refused to come top grips with stark reality. So he aimlessly wanders the campaign trail deparerately hoping someone takes notice, much like the weirdo that drives the long black car in downtown Milwaukee that’s plastered with all kinds of off-the-wall stickers.

Last Monday, Roemer walked into Colby’s joint without notice and proceeded to announce to the entire restaurant who he was. The silence had to have been deafening. It would be like Lena Taylor bursting into the Root River Lanes on Rawson Avenue in Franklin interrupting bowlers to talk about food stamps.

Colby, I’m sure thought, “Who the hell is this joker?”

This sums it up nicely. The Wall Street Journal reports:

“On a plant visit (last) Friday in Bennington, N.H., documented by Slate’s David Weigel, an employee asked Mr. Roemer if he’d be in tonight’s debate.

‘I sent ‘em a picture of myself. I said, 5’8” with shoes on. I’ll fit right close to anyone who drops out. Haven’t heard back,’ Mr. Roemer said.

On Friday Mr. Roemer tweeted: ‘If Perry gets invited to debate and I don’t, I’m throwing a crash party outside the front doors. Who’s with me? #LetBuddyDebate” A swarm of Occupy Wall Street and other protest-minded folks responded.”

Other GOP candidates had found their way into Colby's restaurant in the past and enough was enough. The owner  decicded no more politicans. No way. No how. No ands, ifs or buts.

And it's not just the candidates. It's their hired hands who act as though they never heard of Dale Carnegie.

Trust me, I know these characters and I truly believe Colby employee Jessica Labrie is not exaggerating with this assessment:

They make a big deal when they come in here.”

As in, look at us everybody. Feast your eyes and consider yourselves fortunate we’re here for you to see.

This past summer, Perry and Bachmann campaigned inside Colby’s. Again, this from Labrie said they wanted to take over one side of the restaurant that has only 10 tables.

"They said, 'Just so you know, you'll have the pleasure of waiting on Gov. Perry and (Congresswoman) Bachmann. Don't be nervous. Just be yourself and you'll be fine.'"

Labrie’s response?

"I don't know if you really want me to be myself."

I totally understand Colby’s frustration and that of his employee. However, I consistently cringe when I hear the “B” word as in “ban.”  Colby says politicians, their staff members, and the media that follow a la the Pied Piper are not allowed, essentially banned from his premises.

Now for the most important element of this story that has many calling Colby a hero. The restaurant owner is an admitted flaming liberal.

"I find it incredibly rude. I also find it amusing that they talk about how the economy and small business is so important, yet they are OK with creating a disturbance that impacts my small business."


That begs the obvious and question. Would Colby be all bent out of shape if these were Democrat candidates invading his space? I bet not.

I’ve got to be honest. After having paid attention to stumping by politicians for over 30 years, I’ve never seen a restaurant owner whine and complain about a politician’s visit until Jeremy Colby. Generally speaking, the restaurant loves the attention, the coverage, the free and priceless publicity and marketing. That includes local stops like Kopp’s, Serb Hall, Miss Katie’s Diner.

In my view, Colby is wrong to tell nationally recognized figures to stay away. You are literally shunning invaluable promotion and future revenue. Let them in, Mr. Colby. Let them in. The publicity you will receive on media outlets across the country obliterates any ad you could place on any Portsmouth newspaper, radio or TV station.


On the other hand, handlers of the campaigns need to plan as effectively in advance as possible by requesting permission to “visit” a doughnut place, coffee shop or diner. Don’t just trample inside without notice. You want to greeted and accepted warmly.

Staff members who tend to overstate their importance need to park their boorish arrogance and condescension at the door.

Read more on the story here.


Black buns?

Could eating lots of pizza be bad?

You ate HOW MUCH in 2011?

And in case you missed the New Year's Day edition of Culinary no-no...

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