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When Hollywood calls, Northside's Comet bar answers

Posted at 5:22 PM, Aug 17, 2016

CINCINNATI — The Comet, one of Northside’s most iconic bars, will do something Thursday it has done fewer than 10 times in the past 20 years: close to the public for the evening.

“We have stayed open during every snowstorm, torrential rain, all sorts of events,” said owner Dave Cunningham. “The '96 Olympic torch ran past our front door -- open of course. We have closed only a handful of New Year’s Days. So, about nine days total.”

So what could possibly make Cunningham shut down his business, which he said is “open for the people”?

“Hollywood called; made an offer we couldn’t refuse,” he wrote on the Comet’s Twitter account on Tuesday.

Cunningham's post is referring to “The Life and Death of John Gotti,” a new biopic about the famed New York mob boss that began filming in Finneytown on July 25. John Travolta stars in the movie as Gotti, and Travolta’s wife, Kelly Preston, portrays Gotti's wife.

Cunningham even knows what scene is being shot, literally, inside his bar.

“We are closing so a young Gotti breaks his cherry as a hit man by shooting an Irish mob kidnapper,” he said.

The movie is expected to continue filming in the region through September. The Journal-News reported crews also recently filmed in Hamilton.

The Comet will reopen for regular business hours starting at 4 p.m. Friday.

“On those rare days, it does feel strange not being open,” Cunningham said. "So, this movie shoot is a rare exception. I’m looking forward to it. It should be fun.”