Nicky Blair's was a high end Italian restaurant on the Sunset Strip at 8730 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, next to Le Dome. which thrived in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was named after the proprietor, Nicky Blair, a bit-part film actor who starred in over 75 movies, turned restaurateur. He established it in 1986, and ran it until his death from liver cancer in 1998, although he spent his last years in Las Vegas attempting to establish another restaurant there.
The restaurant, with a piano bar, served Italian and continental cuisine, including freshly made pasta, scampi, scallopini, and grilled fish and meat dishes. A 1991 edition of LA Access described it as a "Noisy, crowded, and glitzy singles bar", which was "good for star-gazing".
The restaurant was a favourite evening haunt of numerous actors and celebrities, such as Frank Sinatra, a close friend of Blair's, and the Rat Pack. Sinatra and friends would play poker in the kitchen to escape the attention of fans and the press. Clint Eastwood celebrated his 1992 Oscar success at the restaurant. Sylvester Stallone also frequented Nicky Blair's and would take his dates there. The following story is similar to that told of Emperor Augustus' reaction when a slave breaks a goblet while visiting Vedius Pollio.
"A black waiter accidentally spilled a tray of glasses on the floor. Nikki Blair, the restaurant owner, fired the man on the spot for having disturbed Mr. Sinatra. Frank, however, had other ideas. He called Blair over to the poker table, grabbed him by the shirt and asked Blair, "Nikki, how much is one of those glasses worth?" "About 5 dollars," replied Blair. Sinatra then told the waiter to break every glass he could find in the kitchen.
After several hundred glasses were broken, Sinatra motioned one of his bodyguards to give him (Sinatra) a thick roll of $100 bills. Frank then handed the roll to Blair and gave the now terrified restaurauteur some chilling advice: "Nikki, this guy can now break as many glasses as he wants for the rest of his life. And every time I come here, I want to see that he's still working for you. Is that clear?" -Anecdote on Frank Sinatra and Nicky Blair's.
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