A Tall Tale from a Rudy’s Regular

ShutterstockOlegCassini2001There’s a ton of local color in New York Times metro reporter Annie Correal’s feature piece “In New York City, Sunday Night Is for Regulars.” Correal roamed the city for a month on weekends, late, so as to chronicle the way residents reclaim their neighborhood bars and restaurants after the Friday-Saturday crush of outer-borough invaders.

When Correal visited Rudy’s Bar & Grill in Hell’s Kitchen, she met Frankie, a toupee-wearing regular who pulled out from his pocket a photo of famed fashion designer Oleg Cassini and claimed to be the man’s son. “No one in 10 miles knows what I know, “Frankie told her insistently. But his story didn’t check out:

A few days later, I went back to Rudy’s to find Mr. Cassini. He had said he was the son of the designer, and had grown up with the city’s crème de la crème, but this had proven impossible to confirm. As far as I could tell, Oleg Cassini had only had two children, daughters.

“Oh. Frankie,” said the bouncer, Tracy Westmoreland, a huge man with a spray of gray beard. “Frankie was banned from Rudy’s for a while, but somehow he wiggled his way back in.”

“Let me put it this way. If he is the son of Oleg Cassini, it’s a good story. If he is not the son of Oleg Cassini, it’s a great story.”

Ha ha. Westmoreland is someone who likely knows way more than Frankie, per user AEC in the article comments:

The author mentions Tracy Westmoreland as “the bouncer,” failing to mention him as one of Hell’s Kitchen’s legendary bar owners, former owner of Siberia and other bars.

[Photo of Oleg Cassini at 2001 Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala: Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com]