Vintage Image: Key Food Market, 1976

The 1976 Montague Street Revitalization project offered grand plans for the ailing Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, and included numerous photographs of everyday life. Of course, some 36 years later, these casual B&W shots offer a cool triptych to a time gone by: the fashion, hairstyles and simply the way folks gathered back in the day.

We’re featuring Key Food here—nothing overtly dramatic, but entertaining for those very reasons. And below, the view at 106 Montague Street today. Who knows, a few decades from now, we’ll probably be smiling over how “vintage” these millennial images are.

For a campy walk down the aisles of 1960s & 1970s supermarkets, take a look here.

(Current photos: Chuck Taylor)

Share this Story:

, , , ,

  • Shela

    Any one remember Bohack’s on Henry St.?

  • yoohoo

    Ha, and yogurt two for 49 cents (and that was 8 ozs each!). I can’t even remember what Key Food looked like inside before it expanded. Chuck, thanks for those photos.

  • Neil


    49 cents for two? Last time I bought Dannon there, it was nineteen cents for plain and vanilla, and twenty-one cents for fruits!

  • She’s Crafty

    Wow, so interesting!! I was growing up in the neighb at this time so love these pix. Wish there were more….I’m not a fan of the current Key, but am so grateful we have it as opposed to Gristede’s which I was in today (for not a good reason) and was again, appalled, at how they could charge $6 more for Tide than any other place within a 5 block radius (and people obviously pay it).

  • Heightsguy

    No one has remembered that there were TWO Key Foods. There was the so called “Little Key Food” which was the meat store, two spots down from the regular Key Food. Now, obviously merged for decades and decades.

  • bornhere

    I do remember that, and I actually liked the set-up. The smaller store is shown in the pictures with the striped-awning restaurant.

  • EHinBH

    Gristede’s should be shut down. I wish we could all gather and picket them. I wonder how long there lease is? If we had a small Fairway or Trader Joes there it would be awesome.

  • Eddyenergizer

    Yes the smaller Key Food was the meat market but before that, it was an Associated food market. The stripped awning restaurant was China Chili. The present Key Food location was smaller back then, being flanked by a luncheonette to the west and a cleaners on the east. It eventually expanded into both those spaces.

  • Sajh

    I refuse to shop at greedy Gristedes simply b/c of their pricing scheme. I’ll walk an extra mile to get what I need in the rain than support that place.

  • Andrew Porter

    EHinBH: We *DO* have a rather large Trader Joe’s, at the corner of Court and Atlantic. It’s a good healthy walk, and coming back through the leafy streets of BH is a wonderful way to shop.

    There was an Associated Supermarket at the corner of Henry and Cranberry once upon a time, in the 1950s. Don’t know why it moved out.

  • http://n/a Barbara Shernoff

    I have lived in Brooklyn Heights since 1968-the first 8 years on Grace Court until i moved to the north side of the Heights in 1976. Shown in the second photo from the top–that was Key Food’s meat store-a separate store from the main market. the main Key Food market was then located where the current one is-but was a much smaller store. Before the Park Plaza Diner opened in it’s present location, there was a Key Food supermarket- but not well maintained. Since i moved to the neighborhood there only has been a Key Food market on Montague St., never an Associated market in that location.

  • http://n/a Barbara Shernoff

    Correction–sorry for the error–but the third photo down from the top shows the original Key Food meat store. the second photo down shows the original main store

  • http://n/a Barbara Shernoff

    Chuck Taylor:

    I am offended by your words “for the ailing Brooklyn Heights neighborhood”, in the first sentence of your introduction to this article. There were some newer buildings that had gone up in the north section of the Heights in 1973, but to call this beautiful neighborhood AILING in 1976 is totally wrong and very misleading.
    as i have written in a past e-mail to this blog, Brooklyn Heights was a beautiful neighborhood when i moved to it in 1968-and for all the years before that too

  • Carlotta

    I remember it all but not clearly unfortunately. There was an ice cream store on the corner, Hebrew National and then Burger King. Nettie’s was there before Burger King, if I’m not mistaken. I’m not sure of the how the space was all divided up. Anyone know for sure? In the Heights since 19 65. Definitely remember the small Key with Tony (?) standing out front greeting people.