Management of Boogie’s Diner will stay in the family.
Leonard “Boogie” Weinglass, who opened the store in 1987, said Friday that his three children, Sage, Skye and Bo, as well as Sage’s fiance, Kyle Raymond, have been overseeing the Cooper Avenue business for some time now and will continue to do so. The move follows a yearlong stint under the management of Aspen Over Easy, a breakfast spot on East Hopkins Avenue.
Boogie stepped away from the business in May 2012 to make time for travel. Because his kids weren’t ready to take over, he handed the reins to Vladan Djorojevic, Ves Tzolov and Mladen Todorovic, three local restaurateurs who had impressed him with their work at Over Easy.
Six months later, Boogie, 72, was diagnosed with cancer and took a harder look at the future of a business he started when he was 45. With the Over Easy stint failing to wow him, Boogie turned to his kids.
“I was already diagnosed with cancer, and it was like, ‘God, I can’t come back and run these stores,’” said Boogie, who was in a New York hospital at the time. “They had a choice: ‘Do you want me to sell the building or try to run the business?’ And they all wanted to see if they could run the business.”
Sage, 27, will manage the ground-level retail store with the help of Raymond and Skye, 24. Skye also will oversee Little Boogie’s, a children’s clothing store across the street, while Skye’s twin brother, Bo, will run the diner. Since the siblings took over, they have learned that their father’s cancer is in remission.
“Finally he’s a lot healthier, and we’re finished with school,” said Sage, who hopes to open her own Boogie’s one day. “I have my family here now, so we all wanted to come back together as a team and sort of have the business back together.”
Raymond, sitting at the diner with Sage and their 3-month-old son, Brixton, added that the business is, more or less, run collectively as a team. He explained that Boogie is still very much involved, with Sage adding that her father calls every day to see what’s going on.
“It’s his passion,” Raymond said.
Boogie is the founder of the defunct Merry-Go-Round clothing retailer, a national chain that thrived in the 1970s and into the early 1990s. His store in Aspen is known for its jeans, carrying more than 35 designer brands. He said it’s not an opinion but a fact that his store has the best jeans selection in the country, maybe even the world.
“This is his lifelong dream,” Sage said. “He’s one of the most brilliant businessmen I’ve ever met and looked up to.”