What are DC’s top eateries according to campaign spending?

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D.C.’s bars and restaurants make millions in spending from political campaigns (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, especially in Washington where a hosted lunch date or happy hour is liable to turn into a plea for contributions to a political party or campaign.

Using public data from the Federal Elections Commission, no deposit bonus forex ranked the top recipients of campaign expenditures for events in Washington, D.C., and surrounding suburbs for both parties and picked out the top 10 restaurants, bars and hotels for each.

Candidates and committees spent more than $12 million wining and dining at 17 venues, each of the party’s top 10, in the D.C. metro area’s eateries during the 2018 campaign cycle.

Of the $12 million expensed from the two parties’ favorite food and drink vendors, Republicans spent about $8.8 million compared to $3.4 million by Democrats. While both parties swim in D.C.’s culinary swamp, there are some venues that tend to host more of one party.

The data used in this map comprises all expenditures from Virginia, Maryland and D.C.. All properties of the hotels chains, Marriott, Four Seasons and Hilton include expenditures at all locations and not just those reflected on the map. Map created by Vaughn Golden, no deposit bonus forex.

Democrats exclusively spent $687,000 at the, technically non-affiliated, National Democratic Club. Democrats also almost exclusively tend to wine and dine at Bistro Bis, a French restaurant only a few blocks north of the Capitol. They spent just over $419,000 there during the 2018 cycle including about $26,000 from Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) alone. Only one Republican, Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), was among the top 20 payors to Bistro Bis. 

Republicans tend to spend their campaign cash — $3.5 million of it in fact — at the Capitol Hill Club just across the street from the Democrats’ joint. The “Republicans only” private club also isn’t technically affiliated with the GOP, but it does have a long history of hosting fundraisers and other events since its founding in 1950.

Some other establishments aren’t newcomers to hosting D.C.’s political campaign fundraisers, such as the Capital Grille on Pennsylvania Avenue, a Republican hot-spot.

However, one newcomer unsurprisingly ascended to rank as the No. 3 vendor receiving Republican campaign expenditures. Despite opening just two months before the 2016 election, the Trump International in the Old Post Office Pavilion, the distinctive castle-like namesake property of President Donald Trump’s company on Pennsylvania Avenue collected just over $1 million from campaign funds during the 2018 cycle.

The bitter party squabbles don’t extend into every D.C. eatery though — there were a few common gastro-bipartisan vendors in the top tens of both parties. Sen. Roger Wicker’s (R-Miss.) campaign spent $60,535, more than any other campaign, at Charlie Palmer Steak, during the 2018 cycle. The Mississippi senator might peer over his prime rib and spot House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) digging into some crab cakes. Hoyer’s Joint Fundraising Committee was the third-highest payor to Charlie Palmer, second only to the DCCC, Marriott International properties and Acqua Al 2, an Italian restaurant, were also among the top 10 vendors for both Republicans and Democrats. Expenditures at these three vendors accounted for $2.9 million, 24 percent, of the top D.C. restaurant expenditures.

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