Savyon Zabar, an ex-Israeli and a well-known owner of a popular Midtown gay club was found strangled in his apartment, cops said Friday.
A roommate found 54-year-old Savyon Zabar’s body on a bed in their fourth-floor apartment on W. 81st St. near Amsterdam Ave. on the Upper West Side about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, police said.
Cops declared his death a homicide on Friday. Detectives are looking to question Zabar’s masseuse, a police source said.
Detectives questioned his roommates and have identified a suspect, but no one had been charged by Friday night.
Zabar, who owned and managed the now-defunct popular Latin gay club Escuelita, died from compression of the neck, according to the city medical examiner’s office.
Friends of Zabar, who called him “Big Ben” because he weighed about 400 pounds, were stunned by his murder.
“He was a star,” said Christopher Lynn, Zabar’s lawyer and the former commissioner of the city Taxi & Limousine Commission. “Everybody is in a state of shock. We have the best police force in the world. They are going to get the person who did this.”
Rest In Peace Big Ben! I could never get you to take a photo but my birthday night with Rihanna you didn’t mind. I’m going to miss you and your crazy ways,the drama, the gossip and dinners, so much to say wish I had time but you knew I loved you! Thank you for the memories #bigbenfamily #escoscrew #rumbleballlegacy