Bono and the Obamas Brunch in the Big Apple — And Get a Standing Ovation

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Barack and Michelle Obama had lunch with U2 frontman and activist Bono in New York City on Friday.

The trio sat in a private dining room downstairs at Upland in Manhattan, a source tells PEOPLE.

As Bono and the Obamas walked out of the eatery, the source says “the whole restaurant stood up and applauded and cheered for them. Barack Obama waved at everyone upon leaving.”

Obama is a fan of Stephen Starr’s Upland. He also took daughters Malia and Sasha there for brunch in 2015, when he feasted on one of the Gramercy restaurant’s most popular items: the cheeseburger. The California-style burger features two beef patties covered in melted cheese and topped with lettuce, avocado, tomato and peppadew peppers.

The $21 burger is only served at brunch and lunch — which means it’s entirely possible the former president revisited the much-loved dish today. Another popular menu item served up by chef Justin Smillie is the cacio e pepe.

The Obamas have been keeping busy in their post-White House life. After enjoying a 10-day vacation at Virgin founder Richard Branson’s private residence in the British Virgin Islands, the former first couple are now settling into their new 8,200-square-foot home in Washington D.C. and exploring the city like they haven’t been able to in years.

The Obamas were spotted leaving the National Gallery of Art on Sunday, when the former president rocked a perfect-fitting brown leather jacket that has earned rave reviews from the PEOPLE Style team.

This isn’t the first time Bono has dined with members of the former first family. While visiting the former president in Ireland during the G8 summit in 2013, Mrs. Obama and her daughters met Bono and his family for lunch at a pub in the town of Dalkey, where the singer lives.

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Bono’s two sons Elijah, then 13, and John, then 12, also attended and were seated at a table with Malia, then 14, and Sasha, then 12, The Telegraph reported.

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Bono, whose wife, Ali Hewson, was also in attendance, said at the time: “There was no political discussion, it was just two families together. They’re a great family – we’ve met before.”

“She loves Ireland and it seems that Ireland loves her,” he added of the then-first lady.

More recently, Bono met with Vice President Mike Pence at the Munich Security Conference in Germany in February.

The two men discussed the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) — a government initiative to provide treatment, testing, education, and counseling to those suffering with HIV/AIDS in Africa (among other places).

Bono, who has been raising awareness about the global HIV/AIDS epidemic for nearly two decades, praised Pence’s past defense of the initiative during the friendly meeting.

“Twice on the House floor you defended that,” Bono told Pence. “That’s how we know you.”

“It was an extraordinary historic accomplishment and you played a leading role in carrying it forward,” Pence responded.

Reporting by JEFF NELSON and SONAL DUTT
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