Savion Zabar, who died on Wednesday in what police say was a homicide at his apartment on 81st Street, was an icon of gay New York nightlife. He was born in Israel, but became a U.S. citizen.
“Zabar, 54, managed two Chelsea clubs, the Escuelita and XL,” The Forward reported. Before it was shut down last year, the Escuelita was known for its ‘voguing’ featuring dancers who would perform moves inspired by models and drag queens. Friends called Zabar ‘Big Ben.'”
Police have not arrested anyone or announced suspects in the homicide. A police source said a masseuse had visited Zabar before his death. When others at the apartment checked on Zabar some time after the masseuse left, they found him unconscious. Police believe he was strangled.
Image of Zabar via GoFundMe page.