It’s a good thing that July 4 has come and gone, and we’ve already grilled our way through this summer’s neighborhood block parties and family reunions, because Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs are NO LONGER WELCOME. Last week, Bloomberg reported that Howard Lorber, the executive chairman of Nathan’s Famous, would be hosting a high-dollar fundraiser for Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign.
The response to that news was swift, with many Nathan’s fans vowing to boycott that brand of dog from now on. The question isn’t why people are doing this—2018 is already beyond ridiculous—but what took them so long? Because Lorber and Trump have gone together like wieners and mustard for the better part of three decades.
In 1996, Lorber and Trump spent three days in Moscow, looking at potential opportunities for real estate developments. “We’re looking at building a super-luxury residential tower [...] which I think Moscow desperately wants and needs,” the Washington Post quoted Trump as saying at the time.
Twenty years later, Lorber was one of only two people that Trump could (or would) name as a friend. “When asked through his spokeswoman to name his best friends, Mr. Trump mentioned two New Yorkers: Mr. [Richard] LeFrak and Howard M. Lorber, the chief executive of Vector Group, a holding company of real estate and cigarette concerns,” the New York Times wrote. (The Times also said that Trump was “said to be close to his family,” which was probably news to his daughter, Tiffany: she wasn’t mentioned).
“I’ve known [Donald Trump] for over 30 years,” Lorber told The Real Deal in 2016. “I was introduced to him by a lawyer named Jerry Schrager when I first started doing some real estate things. He was Trump’s lawyer at the time. I would always stop by and see him—his office is across the street—and when I would go to Florida, I would go to Mar-a-Lago. I play golf with him sometimes down there and we go to basketball games together.”
Meanwhile, Hamptons residents were less concerned about the hot dog-related fallout than they were about Trump’s presence making bad traffic even worse. “As his motorcade sped back to the airport on a highway cleared of traffic, the cars headed in the opposite direction stood at a total standstill, with some motorists getting out of their cars to take pictures,” NBC4 reported.
Your move, Ball Park Franks.