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Thursday, June 19, 2008

‘Dunk Giuseppe’ at Brothers Lounge benefit concert

Posted By on Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 7:13 AM

Go behind the scenes with Giuseppe O'Connell at Brothers Lounge at
We get lots of press releases touting events in support of good causes. But we don’t get many as clever as the one sent recently by Giuseppe O’Connell, cantankerous GM at Brothers Lounge, and subject of our recent feature. How’s this for a fundraiser? Buy a chance to dunk O’Connell – the self-proclaimed “most inhospitable guy in the hospitality biz” – and get the double satisfaction of supporting breast-cancer research at the same time. ... “It’s payback time,” chortles the veteran front-of-the-house guy, whose checkered career at some of Cleveland’s top restaurants has given him plenty of opportunities to piss off his colleagues. “Past and present employees should be drooling!” Scheduled for Saturday, June 28, the event benefits sisters and cancer survivors Linda Bragg and Shirley Phifer, who will be taking part in this year’s Susan G. Komen’s 3-Day Walk. Also on the schedule for that evening: a free concert at 9:30 Brothers’ Music Hall, featuring Kristine Jackson & Basically Blue, and a silent auction, running from 8 p.m. to midnight, with signed memorabilia from such folks as NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Mario Andretti, musicians Brooks & Dunn, The Bellamy Brothers, and John Conlee, as well as a Blues Brothers’ CD signed by Jim Belushi. But when it comes to bringing down the big bucks, our bet is on O’Connell and the dunking tank. Beginning at 8 p.m., there will be four opportunities to conclusively prove that O’Connell’s all wet. And while the GM hasn’t put a price tag on the pitches quite yet, he’s counting on colleagues and acquaintances to turn their grudges into cold, hard cash. But, as O’Connell points out, the frivolity is just a hook for supporting a good cause. “What these women have been through is brutal. We just want to give them a platform and help advance the research.” And with that out of the way, it’s back to posturing for O’Connell, who frets pointedly that some staffers may try to douse him with holy water. “They’re gonna try to scare me,” he grumbles. “They know if they get it on me, I’m probably gonna melt.” For details or more information, call O’Connell at 216-226-2767. Brothers Lounge is at 11609 Detroit Avenue, in Cleveland. --- Elaine T. Cicora Read Elaine Cicora's restaurant reviews, food news, and comprehensive dining guide on the restaurant page at

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