BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — First lady Jill Biden really knows how to draw a crowd — Secret Service, CHP, BPD. She stuck around at the Padre Hotel for a long time — maybe had lunch.
The Padre is central to so many things in Bakersfield, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that it’s become the go-to lodging for celebrity guests who make appearances in the city.
First lady Jill Biden, who flew into Meadows Field Wednesday for a Cesar Chavez Day address at the UFW’s Forty Acres, stuck around the Padre long enough to enjoy a leisurely brunch Thursday. Whether or she actually did so is pure speculation — However, her press office tells us, she did, per usual, teach her English class at Northern Virginia Community College — remotely of course — from the Padre Hotel.
Some Padre patrons didn’t even know Biden was in the house, so low-key was her visit. The proliferation of long black SUVs and serious looking men with earpieces did give away the fact that something was happening.
“I was intrigued, I was excited, I was like — I wonder who’s here?” said Denise De La Cruz, who was sharing a gargantuan piece of cheesecake in the hotel’s Farmacy coffee shop with her friend Esmerelda Soto. “I would have never imagined it was her.”
“The most exciting thing was meeting my friend,” Soto said, “but she told me about the SUVs and stuff and I was, like, ‘All right, what’s going on here?'”
While Biden does appear to be the first member of the First Family to stay in the 90 year old landmark — Padre General Manager Jennifer Johnson declined to talk to 17 News –she is not the first celebrity.
Actor Dennis Quaid stayed at the Padre two years ago while he was here recording some music.
Singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell stayed at the Padre too … as did folk-rock royalty Arlo Guthrie and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns — just to name a few.
The Padre’s proximity to the Majestic Fox Theater is a big reason for its popularity, of course. Although most of the big acts that travel through Bakersfield have their own tour buses.
Not the president’s wife, however. She travels first class — and lodges first class.