Robert’s Lounge was a bar saloon owned by James ‘Jimmy the Gent’ Burke, an associate of the Lucchese Mafia Family. It served as a criminal headquarter from 1957 till early 1979.
This lounge was used as a supermarket for those goods which James Burke and his group used to steal. Robert’s Lounge was also a hub for the criminals where they used to plan out different criminal activities. The Lufthansa heist was planned here.
This saloon was located near Air Cargo Center of John F. Kennedy International Airport and had other hangouts nearby too including the Bargain Auto Junkyard, Don Pepe’s Vesuvio Restaurant, Moo Moo Vedda’s dress factory and Aqueduct Race Track.
This saloon was first an ordinary bar where blue collar workers used to come. But later on, all these people were driven away when James Burke and other members of the Lucchese Family started coming frequently to this place. Now it became a hangout for the criminals.
Robert’s Lounge was notoriously known for his ‘graveyard’ also. James Burke killed Dominick Cersani in revenge because Cersani had cooperated with Queens District Attorney and helped them in capturing the load of cigarettes which Burke had hijacked. Burke buried him in the backyard of his saloon. Another person was also murdered and then buried in Robert’s Lounge; he was Michael ‘Spider’ Gianco. He was a bartender and also worked as a night manager. Thomas DeSimone murdered him over a minor issue; James Burke made him bury the corpse in the basement of Robert’s Lounge. Besides these two people, there were many other victims who were buried in the basement. However none of these bodies were found when FBI carried out a search; reason being that Burke had found out about the search warrant prior to the search being carried out so he displaced the bodies to some other place.
The great Lufthansa Heist was also planned in Robert’s Lounge.