Owner Joan Fairfax is running the restaurant’s presidential cookie poll this week. Customers can contribute by purchasing a red cookie in favor of President Donald Trump or a blue cookie for Vice President Joe Biden for $1. As of Wednesday, 77 votes had been cast, with Trump leading at 51 cookies.
“One cookie, one vote,” Fairfax told The Missouri Times. “It’s just a little fun during such a crazy time.”
Fairfax said she ran cookie polls for the 2008 and 2012 elections at Chez Monet’s former location in downtown Jefferson City. In 2008, more than 2,000 people participated in the poll. The 2012 survey saw an even split between the presidential candidates — both President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney received 444 votes.
“I was so surprised it was split,” Fairfax said. “I even sat around for a few extra hours until after the polls closed to see if it would change — just to be safe.”
Fairfax said she considered skipping the poll this year because of the low traffic in the Capitol this fall, but her son, Jason, encouraged her to keep up with the tradition.
“When we were downtown, people would stop by and see the other guy was winning, and they’d come in and buy some to get their side more votes,” she said. “Once someone came in and bought a hundred cookies. People love the competition.”
Fairfax said she may decide to extend the poll through Election Day again this year. Those who wish to participate in the cookie poll do not have to show identification and can “vote” as often as they’d like through cookie purchases.
Chez Monet opened in the Capitol basement in the midst of the 2018 legislative session. Before moving into the statehouse, the family-owned restaurant was housed on Main Street before moving to Fairfax’s home for a few years.
Fairfax signed the lease on a second location at the Governor Office Building earlier this year, but the pandemic put a delay on her expansion plans.