Working at the restaurant at former President Donald Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel was a drag for those who didn’t like him — and even some of those who did.
Former employees describe how working at BLT Prime was unlike any restaurant experience they’ve had before, from watching Rudy Giuliani treat the place as his personal office to discretely offering the president Purell immediately after he sat down. Serving a rotating cast of Trump allies meant “putting up a facade was part of the job,” especially for Democrats who would’ve rather gone home when the president showed up, Washingtonian reports.
While many former employees say working at the hotel was one of the best-paying jobs they’d ever had, it also sometimes came at the cost of loved ones. “A lot of people that worked there, their friends wouldn’t talk to them anymore,” former executive chef Shawn Matijevich told Washingtonian, especially when it came to the largely Hispanic kitchen staff. “Some of the Hispanic workers, their family wouldn’t talk to them while they were working there, even their back-home family in other countries.” One pro-Trump worker said he was harassed on the Metro to the point that he stopped wearing his uniform to commute, and then quit altogether.
The displeasure was also apparent in how outside vendors treated the hotel. Former executive chef Bill Williamson described how, when he joined the restaurant in 2018, “food purveyors with whom he’d had great relationships were suddenly sending him rotten produce and subpar cuts of meat and fish,” Washingtonian writes. “I guarantee someone in that warehouse picking this product saw where it was going and was like, ‘Oh, f— it, give ’em this stuff,'” Williamson said. Read more at Washingtonian.