SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — Newly elected Gov. Charlie Baker was in town to watch the Patriots game at the Student Prince restaurant in Springfield.
Just two days after being named the 72nd Governor of Massachusetts and against the backdrop of a big football game, Gov. Charlie Baker chose the iconic German restaurant as a stop on his ‘Spotlight on Excellence’ tour.
Gov. Charlie Baker told 22News, “We were both here just by coincidence on the night that the Prince closed which was very, very sad. So I made it a point to be out here when it reopened and we spent most of the day out here in western Mass and we thought a great place to watch a bit of the game a frankly put the spotlight on excellence here in downtown Springfield would be to come hang out at the Prince for a while.”
After 85 years in business, the Student Prince closed its doors in June before being reopened in November under a new owner.
“It’s 80 years in Springfield. It’s been a big part of a lot of families in this community. A lot of tradition happens here on Fort Street and we didn’t want to see that go away,” said Andy Yee, owner of Student Prince.
Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito were joined by area political figures and business people. Also among the crowd, John Simpson, a local artist who spent two days painting a portrait of Gov. Baker which will hang in his office at the state house.
“He said that he would show it in his office if I took out some of the gray that he saw the first time he saw it so I made him a little younger this time,” said Simpson.
Before stopping at the Student Prince, Gov. Baker was in North Adams at the MASS-MOCA art museum and in Pittsfield for a tour of the We Soldier On transitional housing facility. Baker said he wants to use the day to focus on core issues like jobs, schools and communities.