The third documentary about beloved dive Siberia (this one is by Jack Bryan, son of Anna Wintour’s beau, Shelby) premiered last night at Soho House. The flick features nostalgic, alcohol-drenched glory stories from regulars like Michael Imperioli, Anthony Bourdain, an array of media types, and, of course, Tracy Westmoreland — the bar’s larger-than-life (and at six feet, 250 pounds, just plain large) owner. It hits all the seminal moments, including the battle against Mitsubishi Estate Co., which evicted Siberia from its original location in a midtown subway station. During Westmoreland’s yearlong legal battle with the company, he once chained himself, his wife, his three kids, and a priest to the building, then later brought a toilet from the bar to Mitsubishi’s Tokyo headquarters to show he wasn’t taking crap from anybody.
The scenes from Siberia’s second location are filled with close-up rants, dirty dancing, beer-bottle bowling, mysterious fires, and a guy swinging from the toilet chained to the ceiling. The interviewees concurred on a few points: At Siberia, you’d be accepted for who you were, unless you sucked; and if you ever get arrested, call Tracy. Westmoreland, who has been working as a bouncer and actor since the bar closed, was thrilled to be around his old friends last night, but he’s itching to reopen Siberia. There have been negotiations with landlords, he says, “but the deal still has to get done. If it was easy, we’d all be famous bar owners.” He’d like to stay in Hell’s Kitchen, but as he has told us before, Westmoreland is flexible: “No matter where we go, if it’s a fancy place or a dive, people will come. It’s not about the space: It’s about bringing the love and the people and the righteousness.” Word. —Catrinel Bartolomeu
Also: Siberia Bar Documentary Brings Back Media Memories [Daily Intel]
Related: Siberia: Not Banished Yet!