The second time historic east coast mafia dons John Gotti and Nicodemo (Little Nicky) Scarfo met face to face it was to settle a beef between soldiers in their respective crime families, according to New Jersey state records. One of those soldiers was current Philadelphia restauranteur and reputed mob heavy Phil Narducci.

Gotti and Scarfo both died behind bars but were gangland icons of their era. Little Nicky Scarfo led the Philly mafia for a majority of the 1980s. Gotti ran New York’s Gambino crime family in the late 1980s and early 1990s, becoming an underworld celebrity the likes of which hadn’t been seen in America since Al (Scarface) Capone during Prohibition.

The 57-year old Narducci was indicted with Scarfo in a federal racketeering and murder case in 1987 and did two and a half decades in prison. He was released in 2012 and last year he opened a slickly-designed bar and restaurant called “Chick’s,” named in honor of his father, slain Philly mob capo Frank (Chickie) Narducci, killed “cowboy style” in 1982.

The younger Narducci is pegged by some as a faction leader in the modern day Philadelphia mafia. In 1986, Narducci was an ambitious and highly-capable young soldier in the Philly mob, having allegedly just “made his bones” by taking part in the gangland assassination of local mafia figure Frank (Frankie Flowers) D’Alfonso – years earlier he shot the father of a witness against Scarfo in the head. A bar fight between Narducci and Cherry Hill, New Jersey mobster Matty Gambino over a girl resulted in Gambino pulling a gun and threatening to kill him and Scarfo calling for a sit down with newly-enshrined New York don John Gotti, who grabbed power months before by orchestrating the execution of his predecessor as boss of the Gambino syndicate, Paul Castellano.

The notoriously bloodthirsty Scarfo had been at the top of the Philadelphia mafia since 1981. He and Gotti first met at an introductory sit down in January 1986. Less than two months later, Scarfo was summoning Gotti to the negotiating table. The topic? Bargaining for Matty Gambino’s life. Little Nicky wanted him clipped for his unruly behavior.

Gambino was a native Sicilian and a cousin to the crime family’s departed longtime boss and namesake Carlo Gambino (d. 1976). Matty Gambino was part of the “Chery Hill Gambinos,” a group of Sicilian cousins to Carlo Gambino stationed in New Jersey and had a reputation for acting out and ruffling feathers.

Scarfo tapped his nephew and underboss Philip (Crazy Phil) Leonetti to make arrangements for the Gotti sit down. Leonetti reached out to his liaison in the Gambino clan, Joseph (Pal Joey) Farinella and Farinella arranged for Scarfo and Gotti to meet at the house of Gotti underboss Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano’s brother in law in Staten Island (Gravano and Leonetti would both end up joining the Witness Protection Program).

While Scarfo only brought Leonetti, Gotti arrived flanked by an entourage of Gambino administrators, including Gravano, Farinella and Gotti’s consigliere Joe Gallo. Gotti wound up apologizing for Gambino’s actions, explained he was still in the process of getting his “house in order” after assuming leadership at the end of the previous year and that if Gambino disrespected anyone in Scarfo’s Borgata again, he would okay Scarfo issuing a murder contract. Per sources, Gambino personally apologized to Phil Narducci in the weeks following the Staten Island sit down.

Little Nicky Scarfo died of natural causes in 2017. Gotti was locked up in December 1990 and died of cancer behind bars in 2002.


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