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New Britain Restaurant Owner Honored By Presidential Visit

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President at Cafe Beauregard, New Britain
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

President at Cafe Beauregard, New Britain
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) _ A Connecticut restaurateur isn’t sure why his establishment was selected for a visit by President Barack Obama on a trip to the state to push for a higher federal minimum wage, but he has a theory.

Rob Chiovoloni, owner of Cafe Beauregard in New Britain, already pays his workers more than $10 an hour, he told The Record Journal for a story published Thursday. He said he was proud of the presidential visit.

Obama and several Democratic New England governors stopped by for lunch Wednesday in conjunction with the visit to Central Connecticut State University where the president made a speech about raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017.

“We really believe that you should be good neighbors in the community, and they’ll be good neighbors back,” said Chiovoloni’s wife, Alice Bruno, explaining their pay package.

Chiovoloni also got some clues.

A new customer had been coming in over the past couple of weeks, ordering different things every time.

“Then one day she came in and ordered $70 worth of food to go,” Chiovoloni said.

He found out Wednesday she worked at the White House.

Chiovoloni said he had also received a curious call from someone saying he was a University of Hartford student working on a project who asked about how much he paid his staff.

Obama said hello to everyone before ordering a Korean barbecue sandwich, chili, and a half iced tea, half lemonade to drink, said Lara Marie Edmonds, Bruno’s daughter.
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Information from: Record-Journal, http://www.record-journal.com

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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