Best Lounge Act - 2005
Alex Failoni Jr.
If you go to Failoni's around 9 p.m. on a Friday, you'll arrive on the cusp of a transformation. It's crowded but worth it. Hey, if wedging yourself in up at the bar doesn't sound appealing, then you should have planned on coming for dinner and staying for when the music kicks up, smart guy. At this point you are probably gazing wistfully at diners savoring the last bites of their meals as Tom Kelly's smooth vocals of Rat Pack standards serve as a seductive dessert. Sate your gut with a drink from the bar (whose amiable staff has a habit of lighting patrons' cigarettes for them) and wait for Alex Failoni. Without making a big show of it, he comes from seemingly out of nowhere, takes over the mic and for a few songs at a time meets Sinatra's timbre note for note. His style is so effortless, it seems as easy for him to do as wiping down a wine glass behind the bar. Which, because he's working as he sings, isn't unusual. The music, once in the background, has sauntered its way into being the two-room restaurant's main attraction. Failoni's first-timers whisper in disbelief, "Is that really him singing?" and the regular patrons sit full, smug and content, letting a new group in on their little secret.