With his New York Yankees going great guns, George Steinbrenner seems to be looking for another challenge.
Steinbrenner and pals Bill Fugazy and Lee Iacocca are exploring the possibility of taking over the popular New York pub P.J. Clarke's. It has long been the trios' favorite place to lunch.
Since the fabled Third Avenue saloon sought bankruptcy protection in April, there has been a lot of interest in the restaurant. Steinbrenner's group seems to be the top contender.
Most accounts say the place opened in 1891. P.J., better known as Paddy, took over during the 1920s.
P.J. Clarke's is where Aristotle Onassis asked Lee Radziwill her advice before marrying her sister, Jackie Kennedy. Regular patron Frank Sinatra was guaranteed Table 23. Nat King Cole called the bacon cheeseburger "the Cadillac of burgers."
Legend has it that the movie The Lost Weekend, which got actor Ray Milland his Oscar, was filmed in Clarke's. Actually, one scene was shot at the bar, but director Billy Wilder did not like it and ordered a replica of the saloon built. Lost Weekend was shot on the re-created set.
"Having Steinbrenner as an owner could really help restore Clarke's to its former glory," notes New York Post columnist Neal Travis.
Since buying the former Kennedy estate in Palm Beach, Marianne and John Castle have found that their stock has risen socially.
It seems that since they moved into the Kennedy manse, everyone is inviting them everywhere.
The couple recently returned from England, where they attended a private dinner at Blenheim Place given by the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough (or Sonny and Rosita, as Palm Beach pals call them). Other guests included Saudi Prince Faud, Lord and Lady Charles Spencer Churchill and the Castle's Palm Beach neighbors Audrey and Martin Gruss.