The American City Diner. (Chris Davenport/The Washington Post)

Jeffrey Gildenhorn, the owner of the American City Diner and a former mayoral candidate, is dead at 74.

News of his death was confirmed in a tweet Thursday afternoon from the D.C. Council.

“RIP Jeffrey Gildenhorn,” the tweet read. “Native Washingtonian, business owner, mayoral candidate, and mensch.”

Gildenhorn died after a choking incident during a meal at the Palm on Wednesday, his family confirmed. He was taken to George Washington University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“All of us in the Palm Restaurant family are saddened over the loss of our longtime friend and patron, Jeffrey Gildenhorn,” Michael Melore, a spokesman for the Palm, said in a statement. “He was an institution in our city and at our restaurant. We applaud the effort and quick response of the medical response team. Our thoughts are with Mr. Gildenhorn’s family and friends.”

A note left at the American City Diner said it would be closed until further notice.

“We are broken hearted about this very sad news and ask to understand our reasons for closing today,” the note read. “Our grief is overwhelming.”


A note left at the American City Diner. (Chris Davenport/The Washington Post)

The diner’s marquee read: “Rest in peace.”

This story will be updated. 

Matt Schudel contributed to this report.