'Soprano Sue' Knows Where Tony Buries Bodies

Gangster Groupie Flips, Names Names and Places Where Mob-Stars Are Made


March 7, 2006 —  Nobody likes a snitch, but when it comes to "Soprano Sue" Sadik, I'll make an exception.

HBO's mobsters are finally back in action Sunday, and "Soprano Sue" knows where all the bodies are buried. She can take you to Satriale's, the pork store where Tony Soprano masterminds his crime empire, the strip club that passes as the Bada Bing and the place where Paulie Walnuts gets his manicures.

One reason the mob drama has such a cult following is that so much of the show is shot on the mean streets of New Jersey, and fans have turned the bars, pizza joints and vacant lots where characters get whacked into the state's newest cultural attractions.

Pizzaland, the two-table restaurant shown in the opening credits, routinely gets calls for delivery from all over the world. And the nearby Skyway Diner, where Christopher was riddled with bullets, has become a tourist destination.

Of course, "The Sopranos" doesn't claim to be anything but fiction. But creator David Chase grew up in north Jersey, and the local detail has been a boon to those locations featured on the show.

Satin Dolls, in Lodi, N.J., is one of the few strip clubs where customers rush in to see something other than the dancers. Fans might be disappointed to learn that Silvio's office is actually the ladies room. But judging from the vast array of souvenirs, this might be the only gentlemen's club with customers who want proof to show off where they've been.

The Cozzarelli funeral parlor, where Tony held services for his mother, has also received a share of notoreity. But as of yet, no T-shirts.

Will Vito Be the First Whack Job?

Through it all, Sadik, a 46-year-old former private investigator, has kept close tabs on the production, following the cast to nearly every on-location shooting, striking up a friendship with Vincent Pastore, who played Tony's friend-turned-FBI-informant Big Pussy, one of the characters who now sleeps with the fishes.

"My prayers were answered. I entered the big time," Sadik tells me Monday, as we cruise around north Jersey. She's happy to say that HBO gave her a small part as an extra in "The Ride," an upcoming episode, in which you'll see her in the background behind Paulie, purchasing a sausage sandwich at a Newark street fair.