Holsten's has become a New Jersey shrine for fans of the late actor and his iconic character

By Andrea Billups
June 20, 2013 10:40 AM
Credit: Julio Cortez/AP

As tributes pour in from around the globe for James Gandolfini,, who died of an apparent heart attack in Rome on Wednesday, one Bloomfield, N.J., restaurant is paying tribute to the late actor in its own way.

At Holsten’s, where the unforgettable final scene of The Sopranos was filmed, the booth where Tony Soprano and his family dined is being kept empty in Gandolfini’s honor, the New York Post reports.

A sign that reads “reserved” marked the spot Wednesday.

In the show’s final scene, Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano is joined by his wife Carmela, played by actress Edie Falco and later his son, Anthony Jr., played by Robert Iler. His future uncertain as an investigation has been launched into his mafia ties, a pensive Tony slips coins into the small booth’s jukebox and plays Journey’s hit, “Don’t Stop Believing.”

As the trio makes small talk, Tony orders onion rings while his daughter Meadow, portrayed by Jamie-Lynn Sigler, is seen outside parking her car. The music blares, and the camera pans the room, as the scene – filmed in 2007 – fades to black, closing out six seasons of the hit HBO series.

Chris Carley, the restaurant’s owner, said fans come just to order the onion rings, a sign of just how beloved Gandolfini was, even though the show’s last season was six years ago.

“He was just a really nice guy,” Carley told the Post.

“He was really, really nice to the staff, giving autographs and taking pictures,” Carley said. “During his down time, he’d be outside smoking a big cigar, talking to people. He seemed like a real regular guy.”

James Gandolfini: His Iconic Roles