1940 - 2015
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CIARCIA --John, "Cha Cha,"

owner of Little Italy's, popular Cha Cha's In Bocca Al Lupo Cafe on Mulberry St., passed away November 21, at NYU Langone Medical Center following a brief illness. Known as "The Mayor of Little Italy," he was an actor, producer, celebrity manager, boxing promoter and radio host. Cha Cha's Little Italy cafe was a popular gathering place for many of his celebrity friends, including Tony Danza, Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Martin Scorsese, Robert DeNiro, Danny Aiello, Vincent Pastore and Joey Reynolds. His movies included "Hoffa," "A Brooklyn State of Mind," "Mamamia," "Death to Smoochy" and "Goodfellas." He played Albie Cianfione in HBO's "The Sopranos" and co-hosted Sirius Satellite Radio's "The Wise Guys Show." He is survived by his wife, singer Karen King, a sister, Marie 'Mary Anne' Gentile, four aunts, one uncle, five nephews, five nieces, three great nieces, three great nephews and one great-great niece. "Chach," as he was also known, was a great friend to many and a real lover of his neighborhood and the city of New York. He was one of a kind and a huge light has gone out on Mulberry St. There will be a wake on Monday and Tuesday, November 30 and December 1, from 3 to 5pm and 7 to 10pm each day, at the Youth Center of Saint Patrick's Old Cathedral, 268 Mulberry St. The Funeral Mass of The Resurrection is scheduled for 10:30am on Wednesday, December 2, at Saint Patrick's Old Cathedral (at Mott St. and Prince St.).

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Published in New York Times on Nov. 29, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
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47 entries
November 25, 2016
Valenda Newell
July 21, 2016
For many years I've watched him in movies and on TV... And more recently I've enjoyed immensely his wise guys YouTube spots.... I'll miss him!!! For his dear family and friends take comfort in knowing NONE SHALL SLEEP NOR CRY ... And we shall see him again in Gods Kingdom!!!
Tim Chestnut
June 5, 2016
Cha Cha's bar
I am sorry to learn of the passing of Cha Cha. In July 2015, I was visiting NYC and I stopped by Cha Cha's because it was one of the places on Mulberry Street that did not have a staff person in front hawking the establishment. I had a nice glass of Cha Cha's wine, then met Karen and we had a good chat. She told me the person sitting in front was Cha Cha, and I knew I had chosen the right place to stop by, as he was very relaxed and personable talking with various people. My deepest condolences to the Ciarcia family,
Bruce Eng
February 26, 2016
I just learned of his passing. I worked for him for a few years. The last time I saw him, he offered me my job again. Such a big heart. He will be deeply missed. Rest in Peace Cha Cha.
Roseanne D'Angelo
February 17, 2016
" Sorry of the loss of John... I always see him now in his many acting parts and remember him like that "
Raymond Ciarcia
December 30, 2015
Cha Cha was an amazing man who fed our souls. Much love to his family, my memories of him are so fond and so delicious. A great man!
Carol Hansen
December 30, 2015
I loved ChaCha. I will never forget New Years Eve on Mulberry Street many years ago when he lit off a bunch of fireworks and "beat" Chinatown with the better show. Joey DePinto was there. Great memories. There was a picture of me on the wall back in the day.
Erin Corcoran
December 28, 2015
My deepest condolences to the Ciarcia Family- I pray for peace and comfort for you at this difficult time
Charles Sladish
December 14, 2015
To the Ciarcia family, I am very sorry to hear about the loss of John. Please know that God promises that death will soon be brought to nothing. (1. Corinthians 15:26)
December 11, 2015
John Ciarcia enjoyed a successful career and own a business doing what he loved--socializing with friends. Few people can claim such an extraordinary feat. My condolences to his family during this time of deep sorry. My desire is that you find comfort in knowing that John Ciarcia was highly valued as an actor and man, and he is indeed very precious in God's eyes.
Melvin Carter
December 11, 2015
My deepest condolences. May God provide you with the strength and comfort you need as you cope with your loss. (Psalms 9:9 NWT)

~Angela Flores
Las Vegas, NV
December 10, 2015
I would like to offer my deepest condolences for your loss. I knew John for almost 65 years, we both attended PS 130 and Haaren High School together. Some of the things that he, and I did in those two schools would get your butt out on the street today. Then we both reported to the Draft Board on the same day, to this day I still laugh when I think of some of the things he did on that day.
Richard Colarusso
December 8, 2015
Sorry to learn of his death. My deepest condolence to Ciarcia family and friends. His work will live on. May the peace that God provides be with you~Rom 15:33.
December 5, 2015
Rest in Peace
December 5, 2015
I would like to offer my deepest condolences for your loss. May your family find peace and comfort in knowing sickness, pain and death will one day be gone for this has been promised.
December 4, 2015
We were very saddened upon hearing the passing of Cha Cha.
He was a good friend of my brother in law, Mo. We would visit his place on Mulberry St. My nephew, Ronnie worked at Cha Cha's. We enjoyed seeing him with his Mom...I know he will be deeply missed by many...he was a down to earth, nice guy...His spirit will always be with Karen & his family!!!
Kathy Zdanowicz
December 4, 2015
Sorry for your loss. May you draw comfort from the scripture at Ecclesiastes 9 : 5 that show your loved ones a resting in peace.
December 4, 2015
He will be missed by many. Little Italy won't be the same without him.
December 4, 2015
Our condolences to the Ciarcia/King family, it's sad when we lose a loved one, God promises we will see them again. Pray to our most high creator at Psalms 83:18 so he can continue to give your family comfort and peace through this difficult trial.
December 4, 2015
May God give you the strength to endure during this difficult time.
December 3, 2015
Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us.
Harry Simpson
December 3, 2015
Cha Cha,
I had the pleasure of knowing you through Donna Rose. You were a true gentlemen. Many happy memories on Mulberry... Rest easy.... Love Joann
December 3, 2015
Dear Karen & Family,

My deepest condolences go to you. He was my Dad's (Moe) best friend and was always here for me and my Family. Cha Cha RIP always.

DonnaRose Gratale
Weehawken, NJ
December 3, 2015
Please accept my deepest condolences for your loss. May the Father of tender mercies be with you all during this mournful time.
December 3, 2015
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
December 3, 2015
sorry for your loss
Jeneva Thomas
December 2, 2015
Dear Karen,
It was with great shock and sadness that we learned of Chach's passing. It was always so nice to see him at your mom and dad's home, and we remember how wonderful he was to them and your entire family . You are in our thoughts and prayers. Maria and James Leone and Family
James Leone
December 2, 2015
We'll miss you !
Adrian Barnette
December 2, 2015
David J Bhaltazhar Esq
December 2, 2015
Linda Tracy
December 2, 2015
I met John only once to wish him much success with Alleva Diary. He was so very prayers to his family.

Frank Alleva Jr.
December 2, 2015
Fun guy, fight promoter, always an optimist. He was the heart and soul of his beloved neighborhood, sorely missed

December 1, 2015
Karen so sorry for your loss, ChaCha was a great man and a Friend to all he will truly be missed !
Sandra Raimondi
November 30, 2015
Cha Cha you will be missed by many! Rip
Anthony Sacco
November 30, 2015
With blessings, love and prayers please know that we are thinking of you and your family during this time of sorrow. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Salvatore & Christine Esposito
November 30, 2015
Dear Ciarcia family,
I am sorry for your loss. May the God of all comfort strengthen your family during this difficult time. Psalms 116:15
November 30, 2015
I have lost a family of the few people i have loved will be with me forever cha....peace and love to karen....all my love joey de pinto
joey de pinto
November 30, 2015
Rest in peace Johnny!
Talbot Perry Simons
November 30, 2015
Cha Cha was a big hearted guy with a big personality the type of neighborhood guy and host that made you feel comfortable in his presence... they don't make 'em like that anymore... old school Little Italy where my Grandfather was born. There ain't no more Neighborhoods places now where you felt overloved... it's not gonna be the same without Cha Cha...'In Bocca al Lupo! TJ
TJ Mancini
November 29, 2015
Mulberry Street lost a great personality. Rest in Peace.
God Bless. My prayers for Karen.
Eddie Lebron
November 29, 2015
Deepest condolences to the Ciarcia family. During this time of mourning, may you find comfort from God's word that says He will "make you strong, He will firmly ground you." (1 Peter 5:10)
N. Deas
November 29, 2015
Dear Karen, we are so very sorry for your loss. Our hearts are broken for you and with you. Cha Cha will be sadly missed, and we will forever cherish our wonderful memories we have of him. We love you very much.
Laura and Bruce Trampler
November 29, 2015
With fond memories of ChaCha...
Dear Karen and Family of ChaCha,

Sending condolences and prayers to you and your families. I can't be with you but let's stay in touch.

Love, Stevie (Stephanie) Parker
Stevie (Stephanie) Parker
November 29, 2015
John will be missed, may special memories bring you comfort as he R.I.P in the grave free from pain
November 29, 2015
TJ Mancini
November 29, 2015
Rest in Peace Cha Cha
Manny Alfano
November 29, 2015
My finest memory of Cha Cha was dining with him in Paris. We met at a very posh hotel and in walks Cha Cha in his large Beever coat, sweat pants and a NY Yankees ( or was it Mets) baseball cap, making fun of the. French! We went to a lovely restaurant and Cha Cha spotted famed French designer Jean Paul Gaultier and he said, " Hey, there. 's fancy pants.". He always made me laugh. Keep making us laugh Cha Cha, rest in peace.
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