Saturday, March 16, 2002

Cumpie's Takes Center Stage in The Sopranos

Cumpie's Restaurant and Lounge is getting national attention this month, as HBO reportedly paid $100,000 to use the South Oakland hotspot in an upcoming episode of The Sopranos.

"They made me an offer I couldn't refuse," Cumpie's owner John Brimley said.

Writers for the hit show wanted a break from the artistic confines of the New Jersey suburbs, so they took their Mafia misadventures down the turnpike to Pittsburgh. After scouting several bars in and around "Pittsburgh's Little Italy" of Bloomfield, producers decided on Cumpie's because of its pristine South Oakland location and old world ambiance.

"Here at Cumpie's we believe in greasy pizza, cheap beer, and the perpetuation of Italian-American stereotypes," Brimley explained.

During filming, the stars of the show partied with regulars at Cumpie's Sunday Night Karaoke Bash, where actor James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) wowed the crowd with his dead-on Sinatra covers. But it was Brimley and Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) who stole the show with their dramatic reenactment of the famous Joe Pesci "I'm funny how?" scene from Martin Scorcese's Goodfellas.

"I never thought bad Brooklyn accents and gratuitous violence could be so damn hilarious," Pitt sophomore Amy Rotello said.

Sopranos insiders won't reveal much about the long-awaited 4th season, but producer David Chase hinted at a possible pregnancy scare for Jamie-Lynn Sigler's character Meadow Soprano and SGB President Jeff Alex, and a series-altering shoot-out at a local Olive Garden Ristorante.

"I think this Cumpie's episode is Emmy-worthy," Chase was quoted early last week.

"I friggin' love Cumpie's," Gandolfini interjected. "Bada Bing? Fahgetaboutit! These sonsabitches here got stuggots of goddamn steel or somethin'!"

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