At Long Last, Here's Suri, With Fringe on Top

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Our long national nightmare is over. In the October issue of Vanity Fair, which hits newsstands today, the cover girl is . . . 5-month-old Suri Cruise , finally making her public debut with Mom and Dad. Inside, more snaps! There's a 22-page portfolio shot by Annie Leibovitz and accompanying interview by editor Jane Sarkin , who spent five days with the family in Telluride, Colo. "I think she looks like Kate," says Tom Cruise . "I think she looks like Tom," says Katie Holmes . (We think she looks like Bjork .) Holmes also explains that their infamous purchase of an in-home sonogram machine was so a doctor could make house calls at a time they were being trailed everywhere by paparazzi.

Vanity Fair spokeswoman Beth Kseniak said no money was exchanged with the couple or a charity of their choice for the pictures -- unlike the $4 million People reportedly paid to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for the first peek at Shiloh Jolie-Pitt . Holmes told the magazine the couple planned to release personal pictures of Suri "at the right time" until all the "Where's Suri?" craziness began. "We weren't trying to hide anything."

Mike O'Meara and the Pub That Got Away

Singles-bar nostalgists and cheap-happy-hour connoisseurs mourned the news this summer that Sign of the Whale -- an M Street watering hole for more than a quarter-century -- had gone on the endangered-species list. WJFK radio star Mike O'Meara of the nationally syndicated "Don & Mike Show" scooped up the place at a bankruptcy sale and planned to turn it into an offshoot of his own Manassas pub.

But the O'Meara deal has fallen through, according to bankruptcy court files, and a new buyer has stepped forward. Britt Swan , owner of Georgetown nightspots Modern and the Rhino Bar, told us yesterday that he intends to preserve the Sign of the Whale name and its old-school shabby gentility.

Radio host Mike O'Meara's bid to own Sign of the Whale fell through.
Radio host Mike O'Meara's bid to own Sign of the Whale fell through.(Courtesy WJFK)
"It's got a lot of character, a lot of history," Swan said. He's even filed incorporation papers under this name: Save the Whale LLC. (Did you totally see that one coming or what?)

It's unclear why things went south for O'Meara and business partner John Cantrell , whose Northern Virginia pub is a magnet for radio fans. As of last month, they were seeking waitstaff for the new O'Meara's and taking steps to get a D.C. liquor license. But their drawn-out negotiations with the bar's landlord left Whale owner Glasgow Inc. complaining that the O'Meara team was dragging its heels, and Glasgow announced its intent to sell to Swan, the next-highest bidder. On Aug. 18, a judge nullified the O'Meara sale.

O'Meara's Restaurant & Pub managing partner Jeff Salisbury confirmed that his group is now looking elsewhere in D.C.: "We're keeping our options open." Meanwhile, Swan is already talking with Whale employees and hopes to close a deal in a few weeks. The biggest changes, he said, will be to expand the old dark-wood and animal-head bar, spruce up the exterior and overhaul the bathrooms. "It could use a little makeover, you know?"


· P. Daddy!: It's twins on the way for hip-hop mogul Sean Combs and his longtime companion, model Kim Porter , his publicist confirmed yesterday. No word on their gender or when they're due. The couple already has an 8-year-old boy, and Diddy has a 12-year-old son from a prior relationship.

· Just married: ABC correspondent Jake Tapper , 37, and Jennifer Brown , 29, a field manager for Planned Parenthood, exchanged vows Sunday in the bride's home town of Kansas City. The two met the night of the 2004 Iowa caucuses when their eyes met across a crowded bar at the Hotel Fort Des Moines; the chupah at their wedding was held by friends in the room that fateful night, including MSNBC's Tucker Carlson ; guests included Gore aide Mike Feldman and Hillary Clinton spokesman Philip p e Reines . The St. Lucia honeymoon will have to wait until after the midterms. In previous gossip-column incarnations, Tapper was known for dating (briefly) a pre-scandal Monica Lewinsky and (more seriously) Miss America 1998 Kate Shindle .


Donald Rumsfeld had surgery yesterday to repair a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. The cause of the "old athletic injury" isn't clear -- Rummy is an avid squash player, but this isn't his racket arm. He spent the night at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and will wear a sling for a while but was back working by late afternoon. "The secretary is already asking for his inbox," said Pentagon spokesman Eric Ruff .

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