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North Charleston restaurant hopeful for another Trump visit on Friday

North Charleston is familiar territory for President Donald Trump. His family had business dealings in the city, and he made campaign stops there as he built momentum for the general election.

It was almost a year ago the presidential candidate stopped by Fratello's Italian Tavern on East Montague Avenue where Josh Spinelli is the general manager. Spinelli has photos from the campaign visit.

He recalls Trump going to each table and talking with patrons, then eating lunch with Mayor Keith Summey who endorsed the eventual president.

Spinelli says it was such a fun experience, he wouldn't mind ig the president made another stop by Fratello's on Friday after his visit to Boeing.

"We do have that little bit of hope that he decides to make a little stop and have lunch with us which we know his schedule is very busy. But it's kind of crazy to think about the fact that he has been here. And he is the president now. So we're very hopeful we get to see him again," he said.

The moment was captured on his cellphone. He keeps close those photos from the campaign stop.

"You really can't describe the fact that you can say that you met the now-President of the United States in the restaurant that you run," Spinelli said.

Summey is a frequent visitor to Fratello's. He's looking forward to seeing Trump again on Friday.

"One of the things he told me when he was here is that our police department had the best escort he had ever seen," the mayor said.

Summey endorsed Trump during that campaign stop.

But for people like Spinelli, it's a presidential visit rooted more in Southern hospitality than politics.

"We just wanted to make him feel very welcome here," he said.

Trump will touch down in North Charleston and visit the Boeing plant as the company rolls out its new 787-10 Dreamliner.

Summey thinks Trump's return is a way to smooth over possible hard feelings from the campaign.

"The president made some disparaging remarks about Boeing moving some of their manufacturing and stuff. And I think this is his way of saying keep your manufacturing here in this country," Summey said.

Along with Summey, Gov. Henry McMaster, another South Carolina politician who supported Trump, will also attend the Boeing event.

McMaster spoke at a black tie affair for the Southeastern Wildlife Expo on Thursday night. He's also speaking Friday at the Boeing event.

On Thursday, McMaster pointed to SEWE and Boeing as two examples of all South Carolina has to offer in terms of economic development and growth.

McMaster was among the first to endorse Trump in South Carolina during the primaries. While it's unclear what Trump's message will be on Friday, McMaster says his first few weeks in office bode well for the Palmetto State.

“I think he’s doing a great job, he’s pointed us in a new direction, he’s made people happy, people are optimistic about this country again, things are getting better. They see prosperity coming and it’s coming no place quicker and faster than South Carolina," McMaster said.

Improving state roads is high on McMaster's priority list.

And Trump's visit comes at a good time. Just last week, McMaster asked the president for $5 billion to help fund a long list of infrastructure projects across the state.

Summey thinks the visit Friday could send a positive message about keeping jobs in America.

Summey says their schedules do not allow for any one-on-one time together, but he hopes to meet with the president in the spring to talk about ways the Trump administration can help North Charleston with a variety of issues.

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