Official painted portrait of 11th Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers.
Under Mr. Ayers' leadership, the Architect of the Capitol oversaw the...
Close look at a door hinge in the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, patented Nov. 22, 1887.
The Architect of the Capitol's Construction Division with the support of...

Senate Restaurants

The Senate food program consists of 11 food service, catering and vending operations located throughout the Senate office buildings and the U.S. Capitol. All Senate restaurant facilities are managed by the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) under commercial food service contracts. The food service for the U.S. Senate is provided by two food service contractors: Restaurant Associates and KSC, Inc.


Please contact AOC contract manager Milton Salvador at 202.224.7197, the Restaurants Associates assistant general manager Michelle Went at 202.228.3026 or Cups & Company general manager Kathy Chung at 202.224.8083.

Senate Bean Soup

Senate Bean Soup is on the menu of Senate Restaurants every day. The origin of this culinary decree has been lost in antiquity, but there are several oft-repeated legends.

One story has it that Senator Fred Thomas Dubois of Idaho, who served in the Senate from 1901 to 1907, when chairman of the committee that supervised the Senate Restaurants, gaveled through a resolution requiring that Bean Soup be on the menu every day.

Another account attributes the Bean Soup mandate to Senator Knute Nelson of Minnesota, who expressed his fondness for it in 1903.


Take two pounds of Michigan Navy Beans, wash, and run through hot water until beans are white again. Put on fire with four quarts of hot water. Then take one and one-half pounds of smoked ham hocks, boil slowly, approximately three hours in a covered pot. Braise one chopped onion in a little butter, and when light brown, put in Bean Soup. Season with salt and pepper, then serve. Do not add salt until ready to serve. Serves eight.