By Nick Christophers
It has been many years since the release of the iconic mob film “Bronx Tale” which became a fan favorite. The film which was loosely based on the life and times of Chazz Palminteri joined the hall of fame of mob genre movies alongside such legends like “The Godfather”, “Goodfellas”, and “Donnie Brasco”. Pauly DiSalvo, the owner of La Casa Grande Cigars on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx came up with the idea of launching a cigar line in conjunction with the iconic film. Being that his grandfather was close friends with Chazz they collaborated on making this a reality.
“My grandfather and Chazz were best friends and seven years ago I approached him with this idea of creating a cigar line and he was all for it. We went to Epic Cigars, a distributor and they took the line to another level worldwide and we could not be happier,” said Pauly.
They make the blend for the cigar at La Casa Grande Cigars and Epic Cigars manufacture the product. Pauly is also looking into the future to create another special cigar line with Martin Kove from the film “Coba Kai” with the tentative title “No Mercy”. The evening was packed with fans and celebrities alike. Celebs like Katherine Narducci (Sopranos, Bronx Tale) and Sophia Milos (Sopranos).
“I was in Louisville shooting a film and was heading to New York. Pauly, who is a friend of mine, knew I was coming to New York and invited me with my sons. I love New York, I am from Brooklyn. And when I come here, I like to take in some theatre as well. It is great to be here and support Pauly,” said Martin Kove.
Dean Parsons who is the founder of Epic Cigars along with who traveled extensively to the Dominican Republic to work on fostering a unique cigar and soon founded the company in 2010. He worked with master blender Rolando Antonio Villamil for many years to study and learn the roots of creating a good cigar from tobacco cultivation, aging, fermentation, and the art of blending Premium Cigars. Hence, his new venture with La Casa Grande Cigars in the Bronx, New York. To help launch the brand was actor Chazz Palminteri who offered his thoughts on the evening.
“I am not a big cigar smoker, but I wanted to help with this idea. The product really is a dedicated to my grandfather Calogero, and all the immigrants who have come to this country back in the day. The Italians, Jewish, Greeks, Irish and so forth to make a better life for the children. I knew Pauly and his father as I grew up here and it felt right to offer my support.”
It was an event that made a major splash along the business district of Arthur Avenue. It brought back a token of the old days with attractive women lining the street and men dressed in “Tony Soprano” type shirts puffing on the new Bronx Tale cigars. Hopefully there will be more celebrations of this type in other famous neighborhoods that filmed other iconic mob genre films.