This week and next, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.
Nothing, at least nothing widely known, has happened at the Ravenite Social Club since Christmas Eve thirty-one years ago, when it became the court of John Gotti. Some 200 well-wishers filed across its rosette-tiled floor to pay their respects to the newly anointed boss of the Gambino crime family. FBI detectives concealed in a van watched the procession as the start of a new dynasty began.
Jonathan C. Stewart, actor who plays Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel in the new AMC series,The Making of the Mob (Photo: Nicole Disser)
We couldn’t have picked a better spot to meet Jonathan C. Stewart, the actor who plays notorious mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel on AMC’s new show, The Making of the Mob. The Williamsburg dive bar, Jr. & Son is located in the neighborhood where Bugsy was born and raised, but in a way it’s hard not to find in the place a spiritual home for Brooklyn mobster lore as well. A grumpy looking bartender sporting a gold chain, thin mustache, and what was left of his hair slicked back grumbled to his regulars in a naturally aggressive Brooklyn wise-guy intonation. “Huh, lifestyles of the rich and famous, eh?” he said gesturing with disdain towards the TV in the corner. The sun was still shining outside, but inside it felt like a rainy day.
Stewart is a genial Midwestern dude with an easy smile. Even with the help of a fedora, I had to squint hard to imagine him harnessing the violent energy to play a personality like Bugsy Siegel, a hot-headed mobster who had about as much blood on his hands as he had style. Keep Reading »