UPDATE: Add Oprah Winfrey and Gayle KIng to the list of pals celebrating President Obama's birthday at a restaurant in Chicago's River North neighborhood.
WASHINGTON-- President Obama is celebrating his 49th birthday with a small group of longtime close friends at a trendy Chicago restaurant, graham elliot. The gang: Valerie Jarrett, Marty Nesbitt and Eric Whitaker. Jarrett is a White House senior advisor; Nesbitt was treasurer of Obama's presidential campaign. But on Wednesday night, their role was that of long-time buddies.
On the day Obama was elected president in 2008, he flew to Indiana--the last stop on his campaign plane--with Jarrett, Nesbitt and Whitaker.
. First Lady Michelle Obama is in Spain with Sasha, 9. Malia is at overnight camp. The Obama women earlier phoned in their birthday greetings while Obama was on Air Force One en route to Chicago.
The graham elliot (lower case preferred) restaurant at 217 W. Huron St. specializes in "new American" cuisine by chef Graham Elliot Bowles.
Guests having birthday dinner with Obama at Graham Elliot include Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, University of Chicago Hospital Vice-President Dr. Eric Whitaker and The Parking Spot President and CEO Marty Nesbitt, White House Press Office told us.