When the museum reopens, visitors will clamor to see the Star-Spangled Banner (the flag that inspired the national anthem), they’ll admire our new, brightly lit space and open floor plan, and they will likely seek out a favorite exhibit. But most folks also have a second agenda that is just as compelling as the first—to have lunch and to go shopping for souvenirs and gifts. In a museum filled with historians and curators and exhibit designers, I am the person in charge not of history but of your present-day needs.
We will have two new restaurants when we reopen. The main eatery is the Stars and Stripes Café, which is on the lower level. That is the “we have something for everyone” place to eat. I am most excited about the large salad bar and the individual pizzas made in a wood-burning stove. There will also be soups, sandwiches, burgers, and the ever popular barbecue.
The Constitution Café on the first floor at the Constitution Avenue entrance is your place to stop for specialty coffees, a snack, sandwich, or hand-dipped ice cream cone. It is a new space with a huge window wall that opens on to a great view of Constitution Avenue and the fountain at our entrance. I think the window counter seats will be a hot commodity for visitors (and staff!) who need a break.
Kathy Sklar is the museum's Business Program Manager. She is not shy about encouraging visitors to relax and spend some money when they visit the museum (and notes that all income from sales supports the educational activities of the Smithsonian Institution).