What’s Up at Heights Cafe?


BHB newshound Randi sent in this photo of a “we’re closed” notice posted at the Heights Cafe on Wednesday afternoon.  Reports are that the restaurant has reopened.

The restaurant’s most recent DOH inspection slapped the eatery with a whopping 43 violation points — far beyond the 28 points or less it takes to keep from getting shut down.  This follows an April inspection which racked up 54 violation reports for the cafe.

Earlier, BHB reader Rusty sent in this photo and comment:

Photo_052307_001.jpgSee that yellow sign on the window? It’s a “Closed By Commissioner of Health” notice dated today 5/23/2007. There’s another one on the front door. And see those people inside sitting at tables? Yes, they’re in there munching fries and other standard issue faire at the serially mediocre Heights Cafe on Montague. Seriously, at the bar and dining tables, it seems to be business as usual in there, despite the conspicuously posted health notices. Frankly, I am not sure I would eat at Heights if the Health Commissioner himself invited me for dinner, but out of curiosity, what do these people know that I don’t?  Anyone?

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  • jason

    How is this even possible that they are still open? Who would bypass the sign and go in and eat? I’m shocked.

  • Teddy

    Maybe they’re European tourists who don’t know what the sign means ?

  • Arthur_G

    They should make it like CA where they have to post the ratings in the window. It’s not like here where you actually have to go on the web to find them. What an effort.

  • jason

    I am just floored that they are actually open today with people eating there. Are there that many European tourists? How does the DOH not know that they are open?

  • The Sandman

    Great location, though!

  • CS

    that’s gross, didn’t realize the place was so dirty!!! Just had a burger there the other night.

  • BklynJace

    I don’t much like Heights Cafe, but since the West Village rat debacle the DOH has been going insane handing out terrifying notices for all kinds of picky things. Unless the violations were truly off the charts, I wouldn’t sweat it for a place I liked. YMMV, of course.

  • Mike

    You’re safe with the draft beer. I think.

  • BH Resident

    People in the community better get ready for some change and maybe try to stop it. I can’t write who I work for, and I only write this because I’m not happy about what it might do to the neighborhhod.
    A national burger fast-food chain is looking to lease retail space on Montague between Henry and Hicks Street.
    More chain-food crap.

  • Here too long

    Hey, BH Resident … guess you weren’t around when the current Banana Republic was a Burger King!

  • hkjh

    … and it wasn’t even a NICE Burger King!

  • http://www.selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    Five Guys is a chain, no?

  • Andrew

    Five Guys is a chain (albeit not a national one.)

    Is chain-food crap really any worse than the awful to indeible food offered by Happy Days, Grand Canyon, Lichee Nut, Andy’s, La Traviata or City Market Cafe (which is a local chain)? From a culinary perspective, even McDonald’s would be an order of magnitude better than Happy Days. And an In and Out Burger would be, bar none, the best restaurant on Montague St.

  • fm

    Chipotle is owned by McDonalds, and is cleaner and better than Happpy Days and many other places on Montague will ever be.Montague jumped the shark foodwise awhile ago, many people bypass it for Atlantic or Henry or Smith street, its mostly set up for feeding the people who work there during the day, or go to school.

  • Noone of Consequence


  • steve

    I always wonder why we don’t have a high quality Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood, one with very tasty, authentic dishes, and a stylish interior? And I don’t mean to suggest that a P.F. Chang’s would be the answer.

  • nabeguy

    Montague Street has seen it’s fair share of Chinese restaurants of various ilks, so people may be a bit burned out, even if it is a bit more high end. As for a BK or McD’s between Henry& Hicks, it sounds too far off the beaten trail of Court Street to be feasible. As previous posters noted, the BK that preceded the Banana Republic didn’t last, so I can’t imagine why moving further west would help.

  • hkjh

    The only space I can think of available btw Henry and Hicks is the old Tapestry place. The landlord was getting 24k a month from her (Tapestry). Who else can afford that other than a McDonalds type place?

  • the departed


  • nabeguy

    24K a month??!!?? Are you sure? That’s gotta be in the neighborhood of $250 per square foot for that space, which is unheard outside of midtown Manhattan. And if it’s true, well, you can all stop wondering why Montague Street has such a terrible selection of stores.

  • joe

    Before the DOH incident I wouldn’t have eaten there. Food is very mediocre and overpriced. I much rather eat at Teresa’s ( and I frequently do) which though mediocre is at least cheap.

    Now if DOH shuts down Pete’s I would be quite sorry.

  • CS

    It’s McDonald’s and they are looking to buy/lease any space from long-standing businesses.

  • Danno

    FYI, McD’s doesn’t own Chipotle anymore; it sold its (partial) interest last year.

  • spm

    Tapestry is actually asking $20,000/month. The woman owns the entire building so I guess she can ask what she wants. Before Tapestry, Slade’s was there – a restaurant – which was also mediocre food-wise – I did order in once from there and found a cockroach in my mashed potatoes – that was my last meal at Slade’s.

    I’ve heard good things about Five Guys but it’s true, no interesting restaurants seem to stay open – I did like Centrico (?) which was the hipper,more creative restaurant of the Heights Cafe owners but that didn’t last and sadly is a Sleepy’s.

  • nabeguy

    I own a building in the Village and am only asking $13,250 for a commercial space thats at least twice as large as the one that Tapestry occupies. Like I said, you can kiss goodbye any hope of ever getting a new business in with any sense of novelty as long as the landlords are going to be that greedy! It’s the chain-ing of the Cue!

  • Billy Reno

    Mental hygiene?! Shouldn’t they close the dirty bookstores if they’re worried about that? Why can’t the Tapestry space be occupied by a bank? We need more of those. Did you see a Sovereign Bank is opening on Atlantic and Court across the street from a Sovereign bank? I was pulling for a Trader Joe’s!

  • Billy Reno

    Mental hygiene?! Shouldn’t they close the dirty bookstores if they’re worried about that? Why can’t the Tapestry space be occupied by a bank? We need more of those. Did you see a Sovereign Bank is opening on Atlantic and Court across the street from a Sovereign bank? I was pulling for a Trader Joe’s!

  • emcee

    For what is supposed to be one of NYC best neighborhoods, the restaurant scene is embarassing. Truly a disgrace. I hate to say it but it probably has to get worse before it’ll get better. All we can do is try to speed up the process – stop eating at these crappy places. Go to smith street, you’ll be much happier to make a short trip for a tastey meal than to perpetuate the mediocrity around here.

  • Teddy

    If a Trader Joe’s did open on Atlantic & Court, foot/vehicle traffic would be even worse than now. Besides we have to support our local Key Food. Anyway the traffic would be worse.

  • joe

    I have to admit I would love a Trader Joe’s to come to that location but I heard its going to be a Urban Outfitters. Even with a Trader Joe’s, I’d still support the local key food as much as I do now since TJ has stuff I can’t get from Key Food.

    I think the landlords are partially to blame for ruining BH. The space above AT Loft has been sitting empty for a few years now and despite what the sign says, the landlord is unwilling to divide the space. Its obvious when Jennifer Convertible loses its lease that the landlord is planning to lease the 2nd floor and ground floor to a bank, pharmacy or realty firm. With landlords like these, the neighborhood is not going to get anymore interesting any time soon. Whatever people might say about Mr. Walentas, at least the senior Walentas is careful about how many banks fill his storefronts but I guess that is the difference between someone owning several buildings and a landlord owning one or two buildings.

    How sad is it that the most interesting store to hit Montague in what feels like a decade is the housing organization thrift store.