In this week's New Yorker, writer Nick Paumgarten profiles Bob Bozic, a Serbian former champion boxer and obsessive reader who has quite the life story. He's worked at Soho's Fanelli Cafe—one of the oldest bars in New York—for 22 years and has become a "destination bartender," attracting his own crowd of regular. The whole profile is worth a read—his father invented brakes for high speed trains before fleeing Yugoslavia; Bozic was starving on the streets of Toronto before catching the eye of a boxing coach—but here are some highlights from his Fanelli's gig:
· "Now and then he shushes the bar and asks whether patrons, in exchange for a free drink, can name the seven dwarfs, the nine Supreme Court Justices, or the leader of Hezbollah."He also likes to take high tea at the Pembroke Room of the Lowell Hotel on the Upper East Side, "for a touch of Old Europe."
· "He's not necessarily very good at mixing drinks; he won't make, as he says, 'anything that takes labor.'"
· "He has a tendency to harass certain patrons if they don't say 'please' or if they ask him 'What's your best tequila?'"
· "When the noise gets to him, he lowers his trousers to quiet the room."
· "Bozik occasionally makes women cry."
· The Ring and the Bar [New Yorker (sub required)]
· All Coverage of Fanelli's Cafe [~ENY~]
[Photo: New Yorker]