Building burns in Youngstown neighborhood with notorious mob past
It was a hot Sunday night on July 17, 1961, that 39-year-old Vince DeNiro got into his car in Youngstown’s Uptown area, not far from the restaurant he operated on Market Street.
It was the last time DeNiro turned the key to the car. The ignition was wired to a bomb that mangled the car and killed the local mobster with a blast so powerful it shattered windows on twenty businesses in the neighborhood.
Late Wednesday, almost 59 years to the night that DeNiro was killed, a bar next door to the site where DeNiro’s Cicero’s Restaurant once stood went up in flames.
Fire gutted the former Chez Paree bar on Market Street at West Princeton Avenue early Thursday.
Around ten o'clock, heavy fire and smoke could be seen pouring out of the long-closed bar, recognizable by a replica of a miniature Eiffel Tower which was mounted on the sign in front of the building which had vacant apartments on the second floor.
Heavy flames kept crews from going inside, so they worked to save the attached building, the former Uptown adult bookstore, which now has a sign reading “KC Motor Company”. There is no word on the cause of the fire, but investigators tell 21 News there have been several fires at the building in the past.
The Chez Paree is mentioned in an archived FBI investigation.
According to an FBI document, an informant told federal agents in 1964 that local racketeer Jimmy “Dankers” Petrella tried to buy the bar after several local businessmen allegedly lost money to “sharpies” in gambling that was going on in the basement.
The FBI document titled “CAVBOMB”, described the Chez Paree as “one of the better class bars or taverns in Youngstown”.
The "CAVBOMB" designation possibly refers to the FBI investigation into the November 23, 1962 car bombing that killed mobster Charles “Cadillac” Cavallaro and his 11-year-old son outside their North Side home in Youngstown.
The bombing caused outrage in the community leading to U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy to launch a full-scale FBI investigation.
A Saturday Evening Post cover story on the mob in the Valley dubbed Youngstown “Crime Town USA.”
The FBI document is one of several released under the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, legislation introduced by U.S. Senator John Glenn of Ohio to disclose records “relevant” to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
It is not clear how the below document is related to JFK’s assassination.
Two FBI "CAVBOMB" documents may be read below: