Marvin “The Weasel” Elkind, former driver of Jimmy Hoffa and Mafia bosses and also the subject of my latest book, had lunch on March 5, 2014, with infamous Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, George Chuvalo, the boxing great who twice fought Muhammad Ali, and others. Here’s an annotation of the photo capturing the raucous lunch:
The Place: Barberians Steakhouse, a prestigious and storied restaurant at 7 Elm St., in downtown Toronto. For 50 years, this place has been host to most of the city’s most interesting people.
The Guest List: Left to right in photo: Marvin “The Weasel” Elkind; current Canadian heavyweight boxing champ Neven “No Surrender” Pajkić; ex-fighter Billy Lehman; Mayor Rob Ford; Tom Doyle, vice-president of Loss Prevention Services; George Chuvalo. Arriving late and not in this photo was the mayor’s brother, Doug Ford.
The Menu: Chuvalo had the rib eye steak; The Weasel and Doyle had the lamb chops; Rob Ford had salad with grilled chicken; Pajkić had steak; Doug Ford had soup; Lehman left before ordering. No alcohol was served. The Weasel ordered half-and-half cranberry/pineapple juices for everyone; Rob had a cola and there is a bottle of San Pellegrino sparkling water on the table to share.
The Conversation: The group of pals are supporting the troubled mayor’s candidacy for re-election as Mayor of Toronto and wanted to discuss how they could help. Their involvement will be on a volunteer basis.
The Controversy: George Chuvalo transformed his fame into being a fierce anti-drug crusader after dramatically losing three of his sons and his wife to drug-related incidents and yet is supporting a mayor who has admitted to smoking crack-cocaine and abusing other drugs. Also, The Weasel has a criminal record and has long links to the Mafia and other crime figures, although he switched sides and worked as a police informant for decades. But the mayor has also spoken out against snitches, so there might be a reason they sat as far apart as they could.
The Bill: It is understood that Doug Ford picked up the tab at the end. You can be damned sure The Weasel didn’t pay.
The Story: here’s a piece I wrote about the lunch with colleague Joseph Brean in the National Post: http://natpo.st/1hUY8Sm
The Book: The Weasel: A Double Life in the Mob is being released in paperback this month by HarperCollins. More information is here: http://amzn.to/1nBNj9z