Rob Chivoloni, owner/chef of Café Beuregard, stands wit his wife, Alice Bruno, behind the counter of his New Britain Café. Behind them, sitting on top of a soda cooler, is the chair that President Barack Obama sat in yesterday while eating at their New Britain sandwich shop.
About a week ago, Chiovoloni was told that the Governor may stop by for lunch. But he and his employees knew from press reports that the President would be in town for a rally on the minimum wage issue, so they were excited. However, as the week went on, and no one said anything more, he figured it wasn’t going to happen. But some interesting customers, ordering large take out orders, and asking probing questions, peaked their curiosity. Then late Wednesday morning his wife told them that a Secret Service agent was at the counter asking if the President could stop by for lunch.
Chiovolini, a graduate of the class of 1968 from the Culinary Institute of America, has some experience serving Presidents. He was the executive chef at the Madison Hotel in Washington D.C. for both of President Reagan’s Inaugural balls. He’s worked in restaurants since, but only recently opened this restaurant in December of 2013.
A couple hours after the agent arrived, President Obama, four Governors and the Sec. of Labor walked through the door. Obama looked at the menu, then asked Chiovoloni what he would recommend. To Chiovoloni, it was obvious. He suggested the Spicy Korean BBQ Steak, which is a marinated thinly sliced New York Strip steak. “I don’t know of anywhere else you can get such a fine sandwich.” he said. Obama must have liked it, since he ate the whole sandwich, a bowl of chili, a couple of Amaretti cookies, and shared a slice of Tarte Tatin.
While sitting in the main dining room, and before the food was served, Obama talked about the importance of a higher minimum wage, and mentioned that Chiovolini, paid all his workers over $10.00 an hour. Chiovoloni, doesn’t know why the President choose his restaurant over others, but that, and the fact that he and his wife live in New Britain, may have played a role. “They could have chosen anywhere to eat,” he said.
But through his long career serving customers, this is very special. “It’s the coolest feeling to the world. Looking into the dining room and seeing the President and four governors, enjoying your food. Not just eating it, but enjoying it,” said Chiovoloni.
When the group was finished eating, the President offered to pay, but Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, said since the President was a guest, Malloy would pick up the tab. And since the café doesn’t accept tips, that wasn’t an issue.
Chiovoloni doesn’t know what they will do with the chair. They took it out of circulation just so they have some options. But he’s reluctant to use the fact that President ate at his restaurant as a marketing tool. He’s not sure yet even to change the name of the sandwich. “I’m in the minority, but the majority of the opinion thinks it should be called the Presidential BBQ. But I’m just honored that the president came here and enjoyed the food. There might be a tasteful way to memorialize his visit without slapping his name on a sandwich,” he said, adding, “It is the single coolest thing that has ever happened to me.”
It’s been an emotional ride for the Shabazz Napier, Niles Giffey and Tyler Olander, three of the five players honored on Senior Night at Gampel Pavilion Wednesday night. For those three their career began with head coach Jim Calhoun and they experienced the joy of winning a National Championship together…
…they also experienced the heartache of their Hall of Fame coach retiring midway through their careers. Then there was the NCAA banning them from playing in post season play for a year which, on top of losing Calhoun, caused some players to transfer to other schools because of the uncertainty of the program. These three core players hung together because they knew it was more than about individual accomplishments, it was about family, it was about team. Wednesday they celebrated with graduate student Lasan Kromah and walk-on Tor Watts with a 69-63 victory over Rutgers.
Jeff Jacobs wrote about the support Napier received from his mom. ”He had to stay, he had to,” Carmen Velasquez said. “If you start something, you have to finish. You just don’t up and leave because things aren’t going right. You stay and you finish. I taught my kids never to bail out, never to give up on anything.” For the rest of his story click here:
Dom Amore wrote about the confidence that head coach Kevin Ollie has in his players heading into the postseason. The postgame ceremonies were over but the emotional ride had not reached its conclusion. Kevin Ollie took the microphone and let 10,000 of his closest friends in on a little secret. “I’m planning to come back here in April and raise a banner,” he said. For the rest of his story click here:
For more photos click here:
President Barack Obama chose New Britain, Conn. to make an important policy speech on raising the minimum wage. He brought four New England governors along with him to stress the importance of the issue. But before heading over to Central Connecticut State University, the President brought the governors and Sec. Of Labor to a New Britain restaurant for a quick lunch. One of the reasons he said he chose Cafe Beauregard was because he heard the owners of the restaurant pay their employees above the minimum wage.
Please click here, to read a report by Chris Keating, Jenny Wilson, and Daniella Altimari.
On Saturday, UConn All Americans and fan favorites Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley were honored at Senior Day ceremonies before a packed house at Gampel Pavilion on the Storrs campus. Each player was escorted into the arena by their parents to thunderous applause and cheering by the faithful fans and students. Hartley, grinning from ear to ear, hoisted her framed jersey as she enjoyed the adulation at the close of her stellar UConn career. Dolson, ever the cut-up, came out dancing in her inimitable style to the roar of her adoring fans. Then the two got to work: Hartley scored 20 points and Dolson surpassed the 1,000 rebound mark in UConn’s 72-35 trouncing of Rutgers. They made it look easy, as usual, in their final regular season home game under the dome. (They will play again in the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament starting the weekend of March 22 at Gampel.) To read about their final home game, see John Altavilla’s story here.
Simsbury played host again to the Special Olympics Connecticut Winter Games 2014 on March 1st and 2nd. Here are some images from Saturday’s action.
Simsbury, CT 03/01/14 – Elijah Pollard, of Team Plainfield, competes in a snow shoe race at the Special Olympics Connecticut Winter Games Saturday at the CL&P campus. Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN | firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring training is in full swing at the Yankees spring training ball park in Tampa, Florida. Fans are able to see their players, albeit through a fence, and in some cases, get an autograph. Derek Jeter, who announced that this would be his last season, played for the first time this season and there was a big crowd to see him.
It’s that time of year again, Maple sugaring. Problem is, it has been so cold lately that the trees haven’t been able to produce much. Cold nights is necessary but they need warm days to get the sap flowing and with the below normal temperatures we’ve had recently during the day it has delayed production around the state.
Cold nights is necessary but they need warm days to get the sap flowing and with the below normal temperatures we’ve had recently during the day it has delayed production around the state. For more photos: View Here
The UConn men traveled to Tampa Wednesday for a rematch with the University of South Florida, a team they beat by more than 40 points a week ago. They almost lost this one. Shabazz Napier showed why he is an All-American and won it in the final minute. The game must have given Coach Ollie fits. UConn wins, 61-56.
On the second Monday of the month, Milano Salon & Day Spa in Bloomfield offers free services to women undergoing treatment for cancer with a program called Mondays at Milano. The project, created by a non-profit called Cut Out Cancer, was inspired by the award-winning documentary, Mondays at Racine, about a similar program at a salon on Long Island. Cut Out Cancer was formed by West Hartford residents Ronit Shoham, Rachel Marcus, Sharon Conway, Ayelet Shozik, Cindy Horowitz and Carrie Shaw. Milano Salon & Day Spa owners, brothers Sergio and Valerio Gurciullo, agreed to open their salon and volunteer the time, services and staff to the cause. On a recent Monday, about 25 women had appointments at the salon to pamper themselves with a variety of services including hair cuts and color, manicures and pedicures, facials, and reiki treatments in a loving and supportive environment. To read Julie Stagis’s story, click here.
The steeple of the venerable South Church, damaged during storm Sandy in 2012, is about to undergo a major restoration project with scaffolding being erected this week. The historic Congregational church was built in 1827 and is third oldest public building in Hartford. The original church, then known as the Second Church of Christ, dates back to 1670. STEPHEN DUNNemail@example.com
UConn came out hot and took a five point lead into halftime against Cincinnati Thursday night in chilly Ohio. The Bearcats clawed back in the second half behind Sean Kilpatrick’s 26 points to lengthen their home winning streak to 17 games. With the 63-58 loss, the Huskies fall to 5-4 in the conference.
Cincinnati, OH 02/06/14 – UConn’s Shabazz Napier is blocked by Cincinnati’s Ge’Lawn Guyn, right, at Fifth Third Arena Thursday night. Defending at left is Sean Kilpatrick. Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN | firstname.lastname@example.org
02.04.2014 – New Britain, Ct – DiLoreto Magnet Elementary School sixth-grader Miguel Rodriguez, dons a whit coat for his portrayal as Albert Einstein in the Live Wax Museum organized by teacher Kit Moya. For the past two weeks Moya’s 24 students have been studying historical figures and events of their choosing, from pilgrims to the attacks of September 11, then creating dioramas with themselves as models. “One of the goals we have for students is for them to become independent learners. Moya said. Adding, “In anything your study you need to know about history because everything is correlated.” Photograph by Mark Mirko | email@example.com.
02.03.2014 – Manchester, Ct – Mike Bruckner cleans fresh snow from the sidewalk outside his store, Hardware on Wheels. Bruckner says his store specializes in nuts and bolts saying, “People come to me when they can’t find it anywhere else. I’m known as the guru of nuts and bolts.” Photograph by Mark Mirko | firstname.lastname@example.org.
An efficient Husky team cruised to victory in Cincinnati, Ohio Saturday afternoon by a score of 86-29. Former UConn player Jamelle Elliot and her Cincinnati Bearcats had no answer to the UConn swarming defense or to the potent, Husky offensive attack. UConn shot an incredible 56% from the field while forcing 14 steals. With the win, UConn improves to 23-0 on the season and 10-0 in the American Athletic Conference.
The Connecticut Science Center’s latest exhibit, “Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science,” will be on view to the public from February 1, though May, 4. The show offers interactive exhibits on translating Egyptian hieroglyphics, doing an archaeological dig, as well as having a real mummy on display.
- A real human mummy and a life-size rapid prototype, displaying the mummy in a stage of “unwrapping”, plus scans and forensic facial reconstructions of mummies
- Animal mummies, plus scans and information about animals in ancient Egypt
- Art and artifacts from the daily life and funerary culture of ancient Egypt
- Connections to real scientists working on projects in Egypt, including video interviews, written graphics, objects and photographs from the field
- Connections to the scientific process used by archaeologists and other scientists, including hands-on challenges, interactive exhibits and technology
- Connections to how ancient Egyptian people and culture relate to us today
Jessica and Tom Catropa, of Monroe, were among a group of several families gathered in a commuter parking lot in Danbury on Saturday as the Rescue Road Trips transport truck arrived, carrying several dozen rescue dogs from Texas. The Catropas were waiting to meet Chloe, a 5-month-old lab mix. Her adoption was arranged through L.A.B. Rescue and Adoption Network of TX and CT, run by Suzanne Bristol of New Hartford. Some dogs were transported through other adoption groups, such as Shaggy Dogs Rescue in Houston. But all were headed to either permanent or foster homes. Rescue Road Trips, owned by Greg Mahle, of Zanesville, Ohio, makes the 4,200-mile week-long round trip from Ohio down south to Texas and up to Connecticut every two weeks to collect and deliver dogs to foster and adoptive families. A typical load carries 80 to 100 dogs, many from Houston’s East End, where “dog dumping” and a high kill rate at shelters are common. Mild winters and a lack of spay and neutering programs have created a stray and abandoned dog crisis in the southern states. Mahle, who has been transporting rescue dogs for ten years, stressed the importance of raising awareness of the problem to help find loving homes. “I started with a mini van and now have this large rig,” he said. ”But there are still so many dogs in need.” To learn more about Rescue Road Trips, visit their website here. and visit L.A.B Rescue and Adoption Network of TX and CT’s Facebook page here.
Behind a strong second half performance by Shabazz Napier, the Huskies held on for victory in New Jersey Saturday night. Up by five points at the half, UConn gave up their advantage early in the second half. After a slow start, Napier heated up late to help the Huskies regain the lead and finish as high scorer with 26 points.
— Piscataway, NJ 01/25/14 – UConn’s Shabazz Napier gets a shot off in the second half against Rutgers at the Rutgers Athletic Center. Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN | email@example.com