ARNO OWNER UNCERTAIN OF RESTAURANT’S REOPENING DATE
Byline: Scott Malone / With contributions from Anne D’Innocenzio
NEW YORK — Arno Ristorante, a popular gathering place here for executives from the apparel and textile industries and the scene of many industry events, will be closed for an indefinite period after a car crashed through its front window and into the dining room Thursday night.
The accident killed one man and injured 22 other people.
Among the injured was Jack Weinstock, chief executive officer at silk sportswear resource August Silk, who was eating dinner with several company employees at Arno’s, located at 141 West 38th Street, between Seventh Avenue and Broadway. At St. Vincent Hospital a spokeswoman said Sunday that Weinstock’s condition had been upgraded from “guarded” to “stable.”
Hospital officials declined to elaborate on Weinstock’s injuries, but said he “was awake and alert.”
A spokeswoman for August Silk said Weinstock’s dining companions were not hospitalized.
Surveying the damage outside his restaurant on Friday morning, owner Milan Licul said he didn’t know when he was likely to reopen. He estimated the damage at $100,000 and said he believed “90 percent” of his patrons worked in the apparel industry.
The car, a red Mercedes Benz driven by 51-year-old Marsha Feltingoff, of West New York, N.J., accelerated out of a Kinney parking garage across the street and into the restaurant, and came to a stop in the dining room, according to police.
Feltingoff is a consultant specializing in licensing. Earlier this year, she worked briefly for Stage II, a men’s activewear brand.
Siril Trucl, 60, of Fort Lee, N.J., who was dining at the restaurant, died of heart trauma at Bellevue Hospital, police said. Trucl was the owner and founder of SCS Textiles Ltd., a three-year-old company located at 1350 Broadway. He had moved to Manhattan from Slovenia with his wife in 1986.
“I spoke to my husband only two hours before he died,” she said. “I was at home when I received a telephone call from the friends he was dining with that he was dead.”
In addition to his wife, Trucl is survived by two sons: Primmoz and Urban, both of Slovenia. Trucl’s remains will be flown back to his hometown of Maribor, Slovenia, his wife Nika said Sunday from her home.
Among the many industry events slated for Arno’s are the InPrints N.Y. fabric show, which is held there three times a year, and functions booked by the Knitted Textile Association, the Textile Distributors Association, the New York Institute of Credit, and Wellman Inc.
Licul said he was not sure if the restaurant would be reopened for an Institute of Credit event scheduled to be held in the lower level on Oct. 13. But, he added, “I will try to accommodate them because they have been my customers for years.”
A spokeswoman with the Institute said Friday that she didn’t expect to have to change the meeting location.
“We fully intend to support Arno,” she said.
Peter Adelman, executive director of the Knitted Textile Association, said he planned to “give them a few days” before calling to see if the restaurant would be ready for an event his organization was planning for Nov. 3.
Eileen Mislove, who organizes InPrints, said her next event is not scheduled until January and that she did not expect the accident to interfere with the show.
But she said she was shocked by the news and considered herself lucky not to have been in the restaurant at the time.
“I could really place myself there,” she said. “I was married there.”
Similarly, David Caplan, president of Metro Fabrics, said that he, too, easily could have been sitting in the restaurant when the incident occurred.
“I was supposed to meet a customer for a drink, and I had suggested Arno’s,” he said. “We were going to meet there, but then he said he wanted to go to the Plaza instead.”
Licul added that his plans to begin serving breakfast at the restaurant on Oct. 4 would be put off by “a couple of weeks.”