NEW YORK LEARNS TO 'BOOGIE' Weinglass opens diner-store in N.Y.


NEW YORK -- Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Ashley Montana wedded a 6-foot-tall hot dog yesterday. The ceremony marked the Big Apple's opening of Boogie's Diner -- what can best be described as a marriage of food and fashion.

One block from the posh Bloomingdale's department store in midtown Manhattan, this isn't your typical diner. In addition to chili burgers and strawberry shakes, it sells clothing. Boogie's offers blue jeans and T-shirts, but it specializes in the off-beat -- rhinestone caps, fluorescent sequin dresses, wacky ties and a Jeff Hamilton jacket that costs $4,000.

"I wanted to make a store where people can shop and eat," said the proud father, Leonard "Boogie" Weinglass, a Baltimore native who was wearing his signature black-leather jacket and red cowboy boots.

Merry-Go-Round Enterprise Inc., a publicly traded Joppa-based chain of clothing stores, is the parent company of the diner. A co-founder of Merry-Go-Round, Mr. Weinglass got the inspiration for the diners while vacationing in Colorado with his wife and three children. The first opened in Aspen in 1983, followed by others in Chicago, Washington, D.C.'s Georgetown neighborhood and Las Vegas. Fourteen more are planned nationwide.

The New York party drew 750 guests to celebrate the fashion-food emporium with its classic 1950s soda fountain and paraphernalia.

Mr. Weinglass was confident that New Yorkers will love the diner. "The marriage will last. Ashley is a pretty girl, and it's a great hot dog."

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