So far, we know two things about House Speaker John Boehner. He tears up at the drop of a Cannoli. And when he comes to Minnesota, he eats at Mancini’s Char House & Lounge on West Seventh Street in St. Paul.
On Thursday, co-owner John Mancini and a group of Minnesota business leaders returned the favor, dropping in on the Ohio Republican’s office bearing gifts of an apron and a Mancini’s cap.
The apron was inscribed “Serving our Troops,” representing the group’s work providing down-home delicacies to Minnesota National Guard soldiers and their families.
The group was in D.C. meeting with the Minnesota congressional delegation. Shepherding them was Minnesota lobbyist Dennis McGrann of the Lockridge Grindal Nauen law firm. And McGrann, the quintessential Washington insider, has connections to the Speaker’s office.
“It reminds him of home,” McGrann said of Boehner’s affinity for Mancini’s, which the then-future Speaker discovered during the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul.
True enough, the elegant, old-world eatery has the same Frank Sinatra-Rat Pack feel one imagines from Boehner’s younger days sweeping the floors at his family’s bar in Cincinnati.
Joining the group was St. Paul City Council Member Pat Harris, a Democrat. “We’re ecumenical at serving our troops,” said Ted Davis, the group’s publicist.
Also in attendance, (from left to right, in the photo above):
Ted Davis, of Davis Communications; Dave Titus, Saint Paul Police Foundation; John Mancini, Mancini's Char House; Speaker Boehner; Dick Leitner, Saint Paul Fire Fighters Local 21; John Marshall, Xcel Energy; St. Paul City Councilman Pat Harris; Dan O'Gara, O'Gara's Bar and Grill; and John Tinucci, of Tinucci's in Newport.