Former President Barack Obama is back in the islands.
We heard rumors that he would be in town, and on Monday night, a viewer sent us proof.
Obama returned to one of his regular stops for dinner, Buzz’s Original Steak House in Lanikai. The former president was seen with a much smaller entourage than his last visit, though it still includes a Secret Service detail.
On Tuesday, Obama played a round of golf at Mid Pacific Country Club in Kailua. He’s known to hit the links whenever he’s in Hawaii. He was accompanied by good friend Bobby Titcomb, and onlookers told us he seemed more relaxed this time around.
“(When Obama was president) they took 30 of our golf carts, weapons were exposed. You couldn’t get near the president within 30 to 40 feet. They had it all barricaded out. Today, he was just so relaxed. He looks great,” said Mark Sousa, director of golf, Mid Pacific Country Club.
Later Tuesday evening, the former president dined with his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and friends in a private room at Noi Thai Cuisine at Royal Hawaiian Center.
“We wanted President Obama and his party to have a nice, quiet dinner at Noi Thai, and did our best to keep it under wraps the whole day — even diners on the other side of the restaurant had no idea the president was eating here,” said Ying Rosawan, the restaurant’s general manager. “Only a handful of people knew he was coming. We only told our staff just before he came. In the end, it was so worth it and we really hope to see him on his next visit back home to Hawaii.”
Obama’s Hawaii appearance follows a trip to Omaha on Sunday, where he had lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett. He then traveled to San Jose, where he reportedly met with tech executives.
There’s no word on how long Obama will be here in the islands, and there’s been no announcement of any official appearances.