Sparks Steak House is located at 210 East 46th Street between Second & Third Avenues in Midtown Manhattan. The restaurant opened in 1966 and moved to its current location in 1977 (it was originally on East 18th Street). It was founded by brothers Pat and Mike Cetta.
It is the establishment where Gambino crime family boss Paul Castellano and mobsterThomas Bilotti were gunned down near its entrance before having dinner in 1985 under the orders of John Gotti. The entrance to the restaurant can also be seen in the opening scene of the 2004 film The Last Shot. below is a description of the Mafia Hit.
Paul Castellano's Assassination December 16th 1985
Tensions had been bottled up since the start of Paul Castellano's regime in 1976 when Carlo Gambino died. Aniello Dellacroce was the likely candidate to become boss but Paul Castellano was made boss instead this annoyed dellacroce's loyal colleagues. Paul Castellano irritated the family even more by living reclusively in his mansion in Todt Hill,Staten Island. The family managed to put up with this for 9 more years, on December 2nd 1985 Aniello Dellacroce died of cancer and Paul Castellano wound up the Family even more by not attending Dellacroce's funeral this was considered disrespectful and the final straw was when Castellano made his personal assistant Capo Thomas Bilotti his underboss. Gotti and the irate Gambino's decided to whack Paul Castellano. throughout the week Gotti and his Loyalists gathered permission off as many Gangsters they could to make the hit official the Bonnano,Colombo and the Lucchese Families approved they did not inform Genovese Boss Vincent Gigante because he had a close friendship with Castellano.
On the 15th December 1985 Gotti and the Dellacroce Faction met up to plan the assassination of Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti. they decided that DeCicco would lure the boss to a meeting at sparks steakhouse to iron out differences and as soon as the targets exited the car they would be killed if they got spooked and drove off then back up shooters would be placed down the street. they met again the next afternoon on December 16th and went over the plan. the assassins would be wearing Russian clothes to avoid putting attention on the mafia the street would also be crowded with Christmas shoppers making it easier to escape.
At around 17:00 hours Gotti and Gravano were driving in Gotti's Lincoln Town Car when they spotted the boss in his Black Lincoln Town Car. Gotti drove on ahead and parked at a vantage point across the street from the restaurant. At approximately 18:00 hours Don Paul Castellano and his Underboss Thomas Bilotti pulled up at Sparks Steakhouse to attend a sit down with Frank DeCicco to apologize for missing Dellacroce's funeral. just as they exited the car the assassin's striked they shot Paul Castellano to death as he was reaching for his gun and he fell to the pavement,he was shot six times in the head and losing his eyes in the process. the assassin's then fired at Thomas Bilotti who was unarmed he was sat in the drivers seat he was reaching for a gun in the glove box when he was shot at. one of the assassin's gun jammed, another assassin fired six fatal shots into Thomas Bilotti. the assassin's escaped into the night John Gotti then drove past the scene and Salvatore Gravano looked at Thomas Bilotti's body and remarked "he's gone". then an off duty nurse tried to revive Thomas Bilotti but he was dead when the police searched his body they found he was unarmed but he was carrying $6,300 in cash. the police and an ambulance arrived at the restaurant.Paul Castellano was pronounced dead at the scene the bodies were covered in blankets.
Frank DeCicco left the restaurant shortly after the Assassination he then saw Thomas Gambino heading towards the restaurant he said to him to leave the scene and just go home. the murders were highly publicized in the media and shortly afterwards John Gotti became Boss, Frank DeCicco became Underboss, Gravano became Consigliere in 1986 and Angelo Ruggiero became a Capo in charge of Gotti's old crew.
People Involved in Murder
Paul Castellano Boss
Thomas Bilotti Underboss
Salvatore Gravano Planned the hit and watched from across the Street in Gotti's Car.
Frank DeCicco Planned the hit and arranged the meeting.
Joseph Armone Planned the hit.
Frank Locascio Planned the hit.
Angelo Ruggiero Planned the hit and was a backup shooter.
Richard Kuklinski took part as backup shooter.
Dominick Pizzonia took part as backup shooter.
Anthony Rampino took part as backup shooter.
Hitmen who took part in the hit
Vincent Artuso took part in the hit as one of the hitmen.
Joseph Watts took part as one of the hitmen.
John Carneglia took part in hit as one of the hitmen.
Salvatore Scala took part in the hit as one of the hitmen.
Edward Lino took part in the hit as one of the hitmen.