WOONSOCKET â€” When Evo â€śCurlyâ€ť Donnini christened it â€śHampton Courtâ€ť in 1972, the upper deck of his famous Ciroâ€™s Restaurant was already in a time warp â€” in a good way.
The late founder of Ciroâ€™s envisioned Hampton Court as a sort of Tudor-inspired rendition of a medieval, English castle, circa King Edward III, and he spared no expense in getting the details right. He covered the walls with lavish, oak paneling imported from England, hung hand-crafted chandeliers from the ceiling and plunked French crystal on the tables beside sterling silver dinner utensils.
Twenty years ago, Douglas E. Connell was helping restore a classic car for former Glocester Police Chief Jamie Hainsworth when he happened to notice Hainsworth wearing a ring with a curious symbol: a square and compass joined together with each leg of the compass pointing in opposite directions and the letter G in the center.
"It was a very distinctive ring that had this interesting emblem. It really caught my attention," says Connell, 63, of Woonsocket.