Where’s The Beef? For Ganim It’s Big Bucks Campaign Fundraiser At Joseph’s Steakhouse

At Joseph’s Steakhouse Ganim greets Vinnie Brand, owner of the Stress Factory, the Downtown comedy club.

Joseph’s Steakhouse which packs in patrons Downtown even on weeknights is famous for its prime dry aged beef. Thursday night Mayor Joe Ganim showed no signs of his formidable fundraising skills drying up in hosting a big-ticket event that raised more than $40,000 bringing his total amount raised for his reelection campaign to roughly $300,000.

About 75 guests filled the steakhouse front room some writing checks up to a personal maximum $1,000, with some familiar faces and some new such as Vinnie Brand who operates the Stress Factory comedy club on State Street.

Ganim’s two announced rivals are State Senator Marilyn Moore, who has positioned herself as the outsider, and State Representative Charlie Stallworth an early 2015 supporter of Ganim who took a city position and then had a political falling-out with the mayor. Both will be outspent heavily which places a greater premium on crafting strong messaging and building a ground operation.

Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa addresses fundraising crowd at Joseph’s Steakhouse.

The Democratic primary, if Moore and Stallworth position for that, is September 10 but qualifying for the ballot via a signature route will begin in July, according to the state election calendar. Ganim’s opponents are somewhat stymied by the legislative session, more so if a special session looms as most legislative insiders predict to settle an assortment of issues be they tolls, commercial marijuana or sports betting eating into campaign time.

Twenty years ago Ganim, sometimes with Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa at his side, traversed to the Tollgate Steakhouse in Mamaroneck NY to schmooze restaurant maven Joseph Kustra to open a New York-style steakhouse in Connecticut’s largest city. Ganim’s power of persuasion prevailed and Kustra opened his high-end steakhouse Downtown on Fairfield Avenue.

Kustra recently sold the business as he’s scaling back his professional career, but the steakhouse remains the same. Ganim likes to showcase the restaurant as an example of recruiting business Downtown.

Ganim’s brother Judge of Probate Paul Ganim did the honor of introducing his brother highlighting his “setbacks and comebacks.” The mayor had just returned from a meeting in Hartford with key legislative leaders lobbying state support for city infrastructure projects. Ganim cited among city progress the ongoing development at Steelpointe Harbor with the upcoming June opening of Boca Oyster Bar, marina and public waterfront walk area.



  1. Can Marilyn Moore keep pace with Ganim’s nonstop metabolism?
    I hope Marilyn Moore’s fundraising has been a success because her campaign has lacked content since January, 2019.
    Readers understand she is determined to focus exclusively on statewide matters until the GA session ends. However, its productivity has been pathetic and characterized by infighting.
    Politicians are judged by their campaigns. She’s had the chance to shine. Hartford is a good mic.
    If Marilyn Moore has been unable to release an occasional political salvo aimed at her rival, maybe she’s half-hearted and uninspired. I thoroughly disapprove of her 2018 voting record and expect more of the same.
    She’s not an outsider in Hartford and remains a fixture of the debt-laden status quo. Nobody becomes co-chair of the bond committee by accident. Her fingerprints are all over Connecticut’s $80B debt.

  2. The place reminds me of the Hungry Heifer!
    I ketp looking around for Stevie A. and his Mother, it must be twin Loobster night at Zazzy’s?
    There was no murals of the Heimlich Maneuver on the walls, that made me feel better!

    The Hungry Heifer is a fictitious restaurant on Cheers that Norm frequents.
    First mentioned in “I’ll Be Seeing You, Part 1”, the Hungry Heifer is originally a restaurant that Norm dislikes. He mentiones it as a new place downtown, but the food is bad and the service is bad as well. However, Norm keeps getting lured back by the specials, even though he knows repeated indigestion should have stopped him. He gradually comes to like the place more, and even defends it.

    The Hungry Heifer is a place that sells cheap meat and meat-like substances (like “beff” and “loobster”) and is apparantly designed for heavy eaters that aren’t picky about what they eat.

    We see the Hungry Heifer in Season 5’s “Cheers: The Motion Picture” as a place Norm takes Woody. He is well known there by this time, getting the same “Norm!” greeting from everyone that he traditionally gets at Cheers. Corrine, a relief waitress at Cheers, also works here. This is where Norm famously ordered the “All you can eat, Feeding Frenzy for Two”, then asked Sam what he wanted.
    The Hungry Heifer is the center of the episode “Grease” from Season 9. This episode changed the backstory of the Heifer a bit; now, it’s presented as a place Norm has known and loved since his college days. The owner, Sid Nelson, burned the place down in this episode to collect the insurance money. Joe reminds me of Norm they have the same attributes.

    1. Stevie A. wasn’t there? What a shock. Maybe Little Joe told him to stay away. Bullet Head doesn’t make a very good first impression, his gluttony and that.


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