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A Stop at the Diner for President, Chancellor

May 23, 1996

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Forget Mader’s, Karl Ratzsch’s and other spots known for haute cuisine.

On Thursday, President Clinton ushered Chancellor Helmut Kohl into Miss Katie’s Diner, a 1950s-era eatery tucked between the Marquette University campus and the East-West freeway.

The fare?

Appetizers of barbecued ribs, mozzarella sticks and chicken wings, then meatball and vegetable soup and entrees of strip steak and lemon chicken, with hash brown potatoes and green beans on the side.

All served family style in the main room of Miss Katie’s, a single-story structure with a band of reflective windows and a barroom to the side.

Nothing on the lunch menu more than $6.95.

The only dispute afterward was whether or not the apple pie for dessert was topped with ice cream.

John Picciurro, proprietor of Miss Katie’s, said it was ala mode.

``No, just apple pie _ and they ate it all,″ said Barbara Franke, who waited on the president.

She said the chancellor seemed to enjoy his drink of locally brewed Sprecher beer.

``He had two glasses,″ she said.

The president took a sip and then had a Diet Coke.

Did the two live up to their reputation for eating?

``I think they were very polite in sampling everything, but they didn’t eat a lot of it,″ Franke said.

The restaurant had been sealed off by security personnel long before Clinton and Kohl arrived. A number of restaurant customers chose to stay inside rather than miss a chance to see the leaders.

``I have to be back at work by 4, but I called in and said, `I’m at Miss Katie’s Diner with the president. If I don’t make it, too bad,‴ said Margaret Klug, 19, who works in a real estate office in Cedarburg, about 15 miles north of Milwaukee.

She said Clinton shook hands with customers when he walked in and also when he left, and some children in the restaurant drew pictures that they gave him.

Picciurro said he was surprised to have his establishment chosen for the visit, but thought it was a nice touch. His family has run the diner since 1985 and the building dates to the early 1950s.

``This diner concept for an American president, it makes sense,″ he said. ``We hope they all come here from now on.″

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