POMPOSELLO--Arthur. New York cabaret impresario Arthur Pomposello, who for decades presided over the fabled Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel, has died. Pomposello passed away Thursday at Lenox Hill hospital of complications related to the COVID-19 virus. Arthur Pomposello was instrumental in reviving the great American Songbook at the Oak Room after the space had been shuttered for decades as a cabaret venue. In 1980, Arthur Pomposello -- then serving as a bartender in the Blue Room -- pitched the idea of himself performing the duties of booking agent and host of the Oak Room to Algonquin owners Ben and Mary Bodne. He was given the opportunity to book a show, and hired Susannah McCorkle. The singer was a sensation, thus assuring Pomposello of his place at the forefront of Oak Room operations where he remained for a generation. Pomposello's true gift was for spotting and developing talent. Artists who performed at the Algonquin during his tenure include Harry Connick Jr., KT Sullivan, Diana Krall, John Pizzarelli, Eric Comstock, Mary Cleere Haran, Stacey Kent, and Wesla Whitfield, to name a few. The eldest son of Concetta and Arthur "Scotty" Sr., Pomposello was born in Harlem, raised on Colgate Avenue in the Bronx and graduated from the Michigan State University Hotel Management program. He began his career as a food and beverage manager and maitre de at some of New York's finest eateries in the 1970s, including nightclub impresaria Regine's Cafe Reginette and, working alongside the late restaurateur and cookbook author George Lange, Hungaria and Cafe Des Artistes. An avid film lover, he simultaneously found time to act as a supporting player in a number of New York film productions, including The Seven Ups, Dog Day Afternoon and Badge 373. In a bit of meta casting, he had a recurring role in the ABC soap opera One Life to Live playing the part of a ma-tre de. Three children -- Peri Kish-Pomposello of Fairfield, CT, Sean Pomposello and his wife Shaun of Redding, CT, and Chris Pomposello and his wife Sarah of Ridgefield, CT; Two grandsons -- Matthew Kish, Daniel Pomposello; Three granddaughters -- Grace Pomposello, Sophia Pomposello and Aveline Pomposello, survive him and his son Adam preceded him in death. A celebration of his life will be held at Riverside Memorial Chapel 76th Street and Amsterdam, NY on May 12 at 7pm-9pm and a private graveside service at The Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, NY is planned.
Published in New York Times on May 11, 2021.