Mancini’s Char House

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Mancini’s Tradition

Supper Club Style Hospitality!

Mancini's Tradition

For more than 70 years, Mancini’s has been a St. Paul tradition. We’ve built our business and our reputation on outstanding service, exceptional quality and good old-fashioned family values. Today, the Mancini family’s third and fourth generations welcome you to historic West Seventh Street’s home for fine steaks, seafood and cocktails. Join us for supper-club-style hospitality, legendary live music and food that’s worth writing home about.

A St. Paul Tradition Since 1948

The Start
More of Our Story

In 1948, our father, Nick Mancini, had just returned from a tour of duty in Japan as an Army engineer. That year, he and our grandparents mortgaged the family home to open Mancini’s Bar. The original Mancini’s was a tiny West Seventh Street tavern frequented by St. Paul’s hardest working folks. The joint sat about 50 people with a long bar and a little kitchen in the back. Our grandma had a food service-cafeteria background, and enough recipes from her days back in Italy to be dangerous. Grandma whipped up dishes from scratch with ingredients she purchased at local markets, while our Dad and Grandpa served beer and cocktails at the bar.


Dad’s passion for hospitality grew and his penchant for keeping the business a family-run operation became a priority. He dreamed that someday he could own a supper club with the family name on the marquee. With our mom, Mary Ann, at his side and our grandparents’ support, Nick opened Mancini’s Char House on the same West Seventh Street plot.


Dad was committed not only to offering the best hospitality, but the best steaks and seafood in town. The thing was…he knew nothing about beef, so he traveled to Italy and New York to study Italian grilling techniques. Dad also brought in a partner who knew pretty much everything there was to know about steak, in hopes that he’d teach him how to prepare and serve it. The steak expert didn’t stick around long.


Now a sole proprietor, Nick had no choice, but to get behind the grill and start cooking. It was a trial and error process. After his meals were on the table, he went out to each party to ask for honest feedback. He wanted to get it right. It was that honest feedback that created the recipes and methods we use in our kitchen to this day. Dad’s table visits all those years ago were so critical to the Char House’s initial success that they’re still a tradition. Visit us and you’ll see third- and fourth-generation Mancini family members greeting customers and checking on tables.


The take-off was slow for Mancini’s Char House while Dad perfected the product and service he’d later become famous for. That was until 1976, when columnist Gareth Hiebert “Oliver Towne” wrote about the Char House in the St. Paul Pioneer Press & Dispatch. Hiebert wrote, “Off that open-hearth grill come steaks that would be the envy even in Florence, Italy where beef grilling was invented. But never such beef. Nicky and Bertha (his sister) still roam the dining room, as if it were home and the customers ‘family.’” Since the morning that newspaper column hit doorsteps, the place has been packed.


In the ‘80s, we added the Vegas-style lounge, and Mancini’s became known for showcasing some of Minneapolis-St. Paul’s best live music. The area’s most-talented musicians, along with several national touring acts (a la Tony Bennett, Paul Anka, Buddy Greco, Tommy Sands, Gypsy and The Jets) have graced our stage. As Minnesota kids, one of our favorites was when the late Kirby Puckett sang Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World” on the lounge stage.


After our mom, Mary Ann, was done raising four children, she joined Dad at the Char House & Lounge as chief financial officer, working behind the scenes managing accounting, payroll and so much more. Mom really became the backbone of business operations in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

We’ve both worked in the family business since we could walk, so it’s made us fiercely passionate about sharing great food and great service with great people. The two of us did our best to learn as much as we could while working under our parents’ tutelage—studying their business savvy, the way they treated people and how they supported our community. As our parents aged, we were committed to keeping the place open and continuing to serve the best steaks in town with good old-fashioned values as our guide.


We took over operation of the Char House & Lounge in 2005. Our Dad passed away in 2007, leaving an unmatched legacy of hospitality and service. Mom’s been gone since 2014. Every day, we strive to make them proud and carry on the vibrant traditions they created here in the heart of St. Paul. We hope you’ll join us for dinner, cocktails and live music. You’ll enter as a friend and leave as family. “Entre come amico. Partire come famiglia.”