Around Town | January 17, 2020 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - January 17, 2020

Around Town

A DINING DESTINATION ... U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's first stop on this week's Bay Area visit was Palo Alto Italian restaurant Cafe Pro Bono, where he dined last Sunday night with leaders from Stanford University, owner Akif Aydin said. Aydin was informed ahead of time about the secretary of state's arrival by a customer who was hosting Pompeo, he said. The Secret Service and Palo Alto police descended upon the Birch Street restaurant to provide security, but it was an otherwise normal evening, Aydin said. Pompeo ordered a Diet Coke and ate only a few bites of his entree. (He was paying more attention to conversing with his dining companions, Aydin said.) The dinner lasted about an hour and a half. Aydin said the secretary of state was "kind" and "humble" during his visit, taking the time to shake the restaurant staff's hands and take a picture with them. Pompeo is not the first secretary of state to dine at Cafe Pro Bono. George Shultz and Condoleeza Rice also have frequented the restaurant, the owner said. "We have basically become the destination for secretary of states," Aydin proudly said. The next morning, Pompeo discussed the drone attack that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani at an invite-only talk for Stanford students at the Hoover Institution followed by a roundtable discussion with the institution's fellows.

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