Heights History: The Promenade Restaurant On Montague Street

Before the popular Heights Cafe opened at 84 Montague Street and Hicks Street, there was The Promenade Restaurant—teeming with 1970s (1980s?) charisma. A sign at the corner entrance boasts Steaks, Chops and Seafood, while in the postcard image above, you’ll note there was also a second doorway on the Montague Street side, advertising Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Inside, thick gold drapes hung in the windows, along with vinyl booths lining the premises, complete with coat hooks, chandeliers against the walls and glass globes over tables. The back of the restaurant’s postcard offers, “10 minutes from Downtown Manhattan. In the historic Brooklyn Heights section. Full menu at reasonable prices. Greek specialties, wines, liquors, cocktails.” The joint’s hours: 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week. Its also intriguing to note that The Promenade had a 212 telephone exchange. Who knew (and who remembers)? This updates a 2009 BHB post with photo immediately below from Melanie Hope Greenberg. Following Melanie’s photo are a contemporary view of the Heights Cafe, and a vintage Promenade Restaurant posstcard.

Above, Melanie Hope Greenberg’s image of the Hicks Street side of The Promenade Restaurant. Below, photo of the Heights Cafe by Chuck Taylor, winter 2009.

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  • weegee

    The toy store in question, thanks to a 3 a.m. epiphany, was Moby Dick, with a red whale as its logo.

    The record store was Square Circle, and one of the last places one could get 45’s in a non-ironic setting, and where I purchased my first CD. Anyone remember the “animated” neon saxophone player next to the stairs?

  • WillowtownCop

    I’ll bet 30 years from now a thread reminiscing about Le Pain Quotidien, Banana Republic, a cell phone store, an eye doctor, or a nail salon will not generate nearly as many comments. Which is why we could do without them entirely.

  • PromGal

    @She’s Crafty
    I checked with my grandmother to confirm what I my recollections are. PERELANDRA started upstairs at 154 Montague. Steve, his wife and sister started on a shoestring in a tiny space and moved to a larger location, then to the very large Remsen Street location.
    Gram reminded me that the only businesses that were ever successful were those that owned the building their business was in. She spoke of LASSEN and HENNINGS, Dr. Grand of GRAND OPTICIANS, who owned many buildings on Montague, Frank Garcia of MINIMAX CAFE, now of OH! MY PASTA! Allen Kaufer of BORO PHOTO, ARMANDO’s and LOUIE’s hardware store, KLEINMAN-SPECTOR PHARMACY, all on Montague Street.
    The rent at Starbucks is $40k/month. Starbucks is a renter from
    An absentee landlord. One would have to sell a hulluva lot if lattes to break even! When they vacate that store next month, my guess is it will remain empty for a long time.
    BTW, the same family business pattern is true on Atlantic
    Avenue with SAHADI’s, DAMASCUS BAKERY, TRIPOLI and others all own their own, and most of the properties on the street are owned by members of the Lebanese Maronite Christian and Syrian Christian communities, who settled there over 125 years ago, started businesses, and bought up property.
    Watch for something new and very exciting to open soon in SAHADI’s now empty space.
    These are, or were, all family owned and run businesses.

  • Still here

    Diner – There was a very basic diner on Henry between Orange and Cranberry (Where the Ale House is). It was next door to a skeevy little deli. I had breakfast there every sunday. The waitress was Eleanor, (I think), and she reminded me of Diane Ladd (Flo) in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.

    Capulets (now where Buon Gusto now resides) was my ‘Cheers’ pub and night time home in the 1980’s and was also where I first met most of those who would become my friends in BH – and my wife. Capulets had a very limited offering in the way of alcohol and food, but very rich in the diversity and hospitality of the staff and patrons. Still miss it (it closed in 1985-ish)

  • BKNYNative

    I loved that place, the old grey haired waiter used to make the best vanilla cokes.