Grampa Al Lewis opens restaurant

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Grampa Al Lewis opens restaurant - k Place Al Lewis, TV's Vampire 'Grampa,' And...
k Place Al Lewis, TV's Vampire 'Grampa,' And The Face On A Village Window A VAMPIRE FACE is painted on the windows of Grampa's Bella Gente Pasta & Pizza Restaurant, a storefront operation at 252 Bleecker Street in New York City's Greenwich Village. It's the face that Al Lewis wore for his role as Grampa Munster on 1960s television's "The Munsters." Lewis, 77, owns the restaurant. He seats and chats with its patrons six nights a week. "We use the best ingredients possible the freshest and we have the best chefs. I don't have cooks, I have chefs," says Lewis, a , self-described self-described self-described "meticulous eater" "pretty much 90 to 95 percent 1 vegetarian the last 40 to 45 years." "People love Grampa. All ages. All ' ethnic groups. " Since opening in May, the clientele has ranged from "8-year-olds "8-year-olds "8-year-olds "8-year-olds "8-year-olds who ; drag their parents in who want to meet me, to grandparents who say, 'My grandchildren love your show.' " Other visitors have included former "Munsters" co-stars co-stars co-stars Fred , Gwynne (Herman Munster) and Beverly Owen (niece Marilyn), actor '. Ben Gazzara, singer Donna Summer, "Batman" star Adam West, newsman Dan Rather, members of Manhattan Transfer and, Lewis adds, "that dopey guy on Letterman" Larry ' "Bud"Melman. Gwynne, now the voice-over voice-over voice-over ' announcer on Hardee's commercials, is "the closest of friends," Lewis says, but "he won't stand still for 10 seconds to talk about 'The Munsters.' "He now considers himself an '' actor. In 'The Munsters,' he was a cartoon character, and this is beneath him. He would like to erase the fact that he played Herman." Lewis says he's never seen any of his series not even "The Munsters" or "Car 54, Where Are You?" The Nickelodeon cable channel is I broadcasting "Car 54"; "The i Munsters," in syndication since 1966, I is shown in 44 countries "Not 1 cities, states, counties or townships. ! Forty-four Forty-four Forty-four countries," Lewis says, , and "Munsters" fans from 30 countries have visited the restaurant for example, a photographer who watched the show for years in Czechoslovakia. "There are a few countries I haven't met people from . . . Burundi, Afghanistan . . . "The most common thing I hear all over the U.S. is 'Mr. Lewis, I want to thank you for all the hours of Where I X M lit I .1 I -- -- .11. ..1-1 ..1-1 ..1-1 , t-t t-t t-t (5 c- c- . You become famous. Then you become a cult figure. I think now I'm an icon. Al Lewis 9 enjoyment you've given me and my family.' If I haven't heard that 10,000 times, I haven't heard that once." Lewis also performs on the college circuit. "I entertain them, and then they have eight million dopey questions. I answer some of them, and that's the end of the act." Several years ago, he was the opening act for Eddie and the Monsters, the rock 'n' roll band of Butch Patrick, the "Munster" grandson who sometimes joins Lewis for lunch. "Butch was a great kid on the set. He was a normal kid. We had great fun throwing a baseball around in costume and makeup." The unmarried Lewis, grandfather to a 7-month-old, 7-month-old, 7-month-old, 7-month-old, 7-month-old, has three sons Ed and Paul, students at the University of New Mexico, and David, an engineer in California and a girlfriend, "an actress 40 years my junior." He says that he ran away from home in upstate New York to join a circus and become "one of the few Neanderthals left" a performer in carnivals, medicine shows, burlesque mstem sr -rrm -rrm I r'.;- r'.;- - ' ..Zj0 , i z houses and Broadway plays. Lewis has appeared in stage productions such as "Do Re Me," with Phil Silvers and Nancy Walker, and Lewis' favorite the 1956 production of Eugene O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh," with Jason Robards; and in films including "Used Cars" and "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" More recently, he played an coin expert on the soap opera "Search for Tomorrow" "played him for four months, then he finally got killed," Lewis says. Chomping a cigar and puffing out a cloud of smoke, he muses, "You start off getting well-known. well-known. well-known. Then you become famous. Then you become a cult figure. I think now I'm an icon." Lewis predicts that pasta restaurants will be "the next gigantic national franchise." He hopes to open two more Grampa's Bella Gente (Beautiful People) restaurants in Manhattan and, by 1991, to expand into Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago and sell a commercial line of pasta products. "That's not bad in four years," Lewis says. "I've got to make it to 81, though." Frank DeCaro of Knight-Ridder Knight-Ridder Knight-Ridder Newspapers provided information for this story. They have eight million dopey questions. 9 LEFT: Al Lewis (right) welcomes Butch Patrick, a castmate on "The Munsters," to Lewis' new restaurant. ABOVE: Actor Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster. BELOW: Gwynne in last summer's "Jake's M.O." Tropic n ; 0W m ex X 0 -it-1

Clipped from
  1. St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
  2. 26 Nov 1987, Thu,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page 241

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  • Grampa Al Lewis opens restaurant

    smithern – 24 Oct 2017

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