Friday, August 3, 2012

BARTENDER BOB HAS A STORY---MANY STORIES---TO TELL

  My favourite New York bar has long been Fanelli's, a gritty, beer-and-burger joint on Soho's Prince Street. Said to be the second-oldest continuously operating bar in the city, it's a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. 
Scrappy and unaffected, Fanelli's Cafe has served whiskey since 1848, and was a speakeasy during Prohibition.
Bartender Bob
  Apart from a warm, cheerful atmosphere, one of the joint's attractions is Serbian-born bartender Bob Bozic, a garrulous, opera-loving former heavyweight boxer who has held court there for the past 22 years.  
 .Bob, 62, doesn't need an excuse to tell parts of his life story to anyone who will listen.
  And it's quite a story. It moves from Belgrade to Afghanistan, where he smuggled auto parts in from Turkey, to Nicaragua, to the streets of Toronto, where he was homeless for a while. He appeared in court on a bank robbery charge for which he was put on probation and he fought future world heavyweight champion Larry Holmes at Madison Square Garden. He lost on points and Holmes punched out three of his teeth and broke his nose but couldn't knock him down. 
   Bob retired from professional boxing with a record of 14-3 and married Alex McNear, a lawyer who was Barack Obama's first girlfriend, whom he met while he was working as a bouncer at a New York transvestite club.They were divorced after seven years but have a daughter Vesna, now 20, to whom they are both very close.......  
  There's more----plenty more. But it sounds much better coming from Bob. So it's worth a visit to Fanelli's to hear him tell it.   

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