Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Price of progress

"We whacked the pork store," stated Manny Costeira.

Just eight months ago, Tony Soprano drove his white SUV out of the parking lot for the last time as HBO ended the final season of "The Sopranos." Last month, Satriale's ended it's final season as the fictional pork store where the TV mobsters hung out in.

The vacant building, which had a life-sized pig on the roof had been leased to HBO for the filming of the show. Most of the program was filmed on a New York sound stage but many of the scenes were shot in Kearny NJ, a working-class town about nine miles from New York City, to give it the Jersey feel.

Store owner Manny Costeira had the building demolished to make way for nine condo units he plans to build there. The project is called "The Soprano" and the condos will range in price from $325,000 to $385,000. The construction is planned to begin in the spring of 2008 and will take approximately a year to complete.

"They now sample onion rings at Holsten's, and sit in the booth that Tony sat in," stated Marc Baron.
Now that the building has been demolished, the always shuttered site has been dropped from the popular tour of "Soprano's" north New Jersey sites. While tour operator Baron stated the loss of that site is disappointing, they have kept up with changing times and have added a stop for tourists at Holsten's. That location is a real-life Bloomfield ice cream parlor where the series final scene was filmed.

As for Costeira, besides the profit he may get from the sale of the condos, he is also cashing in on the "Soprano's" fan interest before the holidays. He is selling chunks of the store's facade on the Internet for $25 and $50 each. He states that he has sold about 1,000 of the 2-inch-square and 5-inch-square chunks worldwide. The smaller ones are mounted with a plaque stating their origin and the larger ones come with a certificate.

It would seem that now is the time to grab that "chunk" of TV history for that special mob fan on your holiday gift list......... unless you are saving up to have the chance to live on the site of the former fake mob hangout.

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