Olive burger demise an omen for Hillary?

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Hillary Clinton’s teenage hangout, the Pickwick Restaurant in Park Ridge, closes Sunday night after 50 years in business.


Is there an omen here?

Pundits are casting about for signs of whether she is running. Or folding her yet-to be-formally-resurrected presidential tent and bailing out of contention.

Heck, the estimable Washington Post and its columnist Dana Millbank opined the other day that “Hillary Clinton has lost that ‘new car’ smell.”

“The ride and handling were stable,” he wrote. “The acceleration and braking were adequate.”

But, sigh, he lamented, “This car was not new.”

Kind of like the Pickwick.

It’s the place, half a century ago, that Hillary and her pals went in bobby socks and pleated skirts to eat french fries and drink Cokes after going to the movies at the theater next door.

Does Hillary know the Pickwick is shutting its doors?

“I told her and she was quite upset,” said her best then-and-now girlfriend, Betsy Ebeling. “Hillary’s comment was ‘can you get the olive burger recipe for me?’ ”

(Recipe note: take a plain burger and throw sliced green olives on it.)

The olive burger gained fame back in 2003 when then-Senator Clinton and ABC’s Barbara Walters sat down for an interview at the Pickwick. Hill told Babs that it was her favorite and ever since the olive burger has been on the Pickwick menu as the “Hillary Burger.” I’ve tried it, by the way. My advice is stick with a plain burger, preferably rare. The restaurant’s owner, George Paziotopoulos, and I are on the same page on this. It’s not his favorite either, but the restaurant certainly is. He hates to close, but leases and rising rent have gotten in the way of staying open.


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