For more than 35 years, the tiny DC area bar Whiskey Corner has served members of White House staff as a discreet place they can go to simply be themselves. At least, this used to be the case.
The bar’s owner, Paul Foster, says that before four years ago, he was never once visited by a man most of his patrons knew only as “Papa Joe.”
“It didn’t take me long to figure out that they were talking about [then senator, now Vice President] Joe Biden. People would always get a little louder when they talked about Joe,” Foster said. “But he never showed up here, until that fateful day four years ago…”
Foster said that, by mid-September of 2008, the candidate Biden was so confident about the upcoming election that he literally “kicked the doors down.”
“He came in, with a blonde on each arm and a redhead carrying his suitcase, and shouted ‘free rounds on Joe’ at about 7 in the evening,” Foster reported. “He then came up to me and said to start a tab, because this was ‘Joe Country’ now.”
And so, since that day, Whiskey Corner has kept a tab for the Vice President. By the mid-term election of 2010, it was threatening to eclipse six digits, and Foster was losing patience.
“Look, even though he’s a fantastic customer, always buying rounds for everyone, I knew I had to cap his tab,” Foster said. “Even the Vice President has to pay up sometimes.”
And so, Biden was able to, in his words, “grab a few stimulus dollars” to pay back his debt to the bar. Promptly after the tab was closed, however, Biden opened a new one, declaring the bar “Biden World,” this time providing a customized sign to be placed above his favorite brand of Whiskey.
As the November presidential election approaches, Foster reports that Biden has, once again, exceeded an acceptable tab.
“We’re coming up on nearly 200 thousand now,” Foster said, “and I just can’t run a business like this. Every time someone says to Joe ‘four more years,’ he buys them four beers on the spot. I just can’t keep up anymore.”
Biden, who has continually assured Foster that his debt would be included in a Senate budget proposal, has yet to make good on his promise.
“I just don’t know what to do,” said a dejected Foster. “I need him to pay his tab. But Joe is the only one who can really make ‘Body Shots off Monica [Lewinsky, former White House intern and current Whiskey Corner employee] Night any fun. Otherwise it’s just gross.”