Vice President Pence set to vacation on Sanibel, a 30-year tradition

Reporter: Morgan Rynor Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
A picture of Mike Pence with Mike Asen, the owner of The Sanibel Grill. The restaurant has been a typical spot Pence has visited before and during his time as vice president. Credit: WINK News.

Vice President Mike Pence was set to begin visit Sanibel Island for vacation. One of his typical stops is The Sanibel Grill. He’s visited the island for decades, even before he got to the White House.

UPDATE: It was confirmed Tuesday Pence’s Sanibel vacation was canceled.

Traffic impacts would have been expected during the vice president’s arrival. There were originally flight restrictions at RSW Airport beginning at 5:15 p.m. and then restrictions for Sanibel that would have lasted until Saturday.

People who have lived on the island for decades told us the roads are typically blocked off for an hour before and after the VP gets there. Matt Asen knows the drill.

You’ll find it all on Asen’s wall of fame at The Sanibel Grill — star athletes, celebrities and politicians. He has three pictures in total on the wall with Mike Pence.

“When he was governor, he came here, and he didn’t have any Secret Service with him of course,” Asen said. “And then he came back here a couple of years ago as vice president with the Secret Service, and they wand people at the doors. They had people watching us cook the food, so we don’t poison him or whatever they think we’re gonna do, and it’s kind of a big production.”

Politics aside, it’s good for local business.

“I was hoping to call him ‘President Pence’ one day because then I would get invited to the White House, but I guess that’s not going to happen now,” Asen said.

The vice president has vacationed on Sanibel Island for 30 years, where he also typically gets his haircut.

Asen says, no matter what, they will make sure Pence has a good time.

“Of course, with the election, I don’t know if he’s in a good mood or not,” Asen said. “We’ll make room for him and take good care of him and his wife.”

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