Ted Leonsis has a lot to celebrate these days. The billionaire owner of the Washington Capitals just brought the title-starved District its first Stanley Cup. He’s been riding high since last week as congratulatory texts, calls and a parade stretched out in front of him. And now he’s got the ultimate Washington stamp of approval to go along with the holy grail: a signature caricature at the Palm.
The power steakhouse on Tuesday unveiled a caricature of Leonsis — sporting his signature gray locks while hugging the Stanley Cup and a bottle of bubbly — just four days after his team won big.
Even before the Capitals clinched the title, the restaurant was poised to put Leonsis on the wall. Longtime maitre d’ Tommy Jacomo, who retired from the Palm last year, called up the restaurant in the thick of the hockey finals and suggested they commission a caricature posthaste.
Leonsis, a regular who already has one caricature at the Palm in Tysons Corner, deserved a spot on the wall in D.C., Jacomo argued. Everyone agreed, and a call went out to the steakhouse’s regular illustrator, Al Evcimen.
But there was one catch. Evcimen wouldn’t put pencil to paper until the team won. He didn’t want to jinx it.
“I emailed him that night,” Palm restaurant’s general manager, Michael Melore, said of the date the Caps won the title. Evcimen FedExed the finished product on Saturday morning, and the restaurant unveiled the caricature Tuesday. Since the mini-Leonsis’s debut, fans dining at the steakhouse have been snapping selfies with it and planting kisses on the cup. But Leonsis, who’s been pretty busy the last few days, hasn’t seen it yet.