Custom House Rises on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights

The Irish pub moving into the old La Traviata space at 139 Montague Street will be call the Custom House. BHB contributor Heather Quinlan snapped this shot of its new sign being raised there this morning.

We reported earlier this week about the “hidden history” of number 139 that was revealed in the sign changing process.

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  • C.

    Odd name for an Irish pub. Sounds like an interior design firm. Well, at least it’s better than Oh, My Pasta!

  • C.

    Oh, My Beer!

  • Clarksy

    The name isn’t so bad, but the typeface doesn’t say “Irish Pub” at all. That being said, I’m thrilled that an Irish pub is coming to the neighborhood.

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    The Custom House is a pretty famous building in Dublin. Very cool name for an IRISH pub, if you ask me.

  • nuc
  • monty

    Isn’t it going to be very close to Eamonns? Well, not like there weren’t 3 Italian places right next to each other. I wonder if they will be a real pub or more gastropub.

  • Arch Stanton

    The site of many a future bare knuckle brawls, looks promising.

  • David on Middagh

    Monty, I’m adding “gastropub” to my list of least favorite words, right after cosplay, congruent, and grue.

  • WillowtownCop

    Arch – I dare you to make a racist comment like that about any other ethnic group.

  • Andrew Porter

    Fascinating history of the original building; I missed it during my visits to Dublin in the 90s.

    Hope they offer a full Irish breakfast, in the older tradition. I presume they’ll have Guinness on tap.

  • Arch Stanton

    Dear WillowtownCop,
    I honestly dont see how you see it as a “racist” comment, it certainly wasn’t meant that way. However, I will attempt to take you up on your dare (although, I usually don’t cave till triple dared):
    The Tibet House, the site of many a future bare knuckle brawls, looks promising.
    Humm, Doesn’t seem to work, does it?

  • WillowSt.Neighbor

    Arch is right on the money with his comment. My father is Irish. Whenever he got together with his brothers, they drank up a storm and usually fists started flying. It never failed. The evening always ended up in a brawl.
    I think the word “stereotyping” seems more appropriate.

  • soulman

    re: Arch’s bigoted (but not racist) comment. Although I was born in London of Jewish ancestors, for years I played in Irish bar bands in all 5 boroughs in NYC as well as the surrounding states. The only fights I ever saw were between Russians (and probably Jewish ones at that). On the other hand, there were several songs that praised drinking and fighting. Sometimes individuals take comfort in acting out their own group’s stereotypes and everyone else believes the propaganda

  • WillowtownCop

    So it’s OK to stereotype because sometimes it’s true?

    My issue is the double standard – I suspect no one would be defending him if he said, “the new Jewish deli (insert “joke” about people getting ripped off) or the new soul food restaurant (insert black “joke” here).

    I don’t see why it’s OK to make drunken fighting jokes about the Irish when it isn’t OK to make ethnic jokes about anyone else.

  • Ak

    Jesus you two shut up. It’s not a racist comment it’s a stereotype. Just chill out and focus on the story.

  • Slide

    We gotta get over this super sensitivity. Willowtowncop go get a donut and forget about it.

    Just kidding. A joke. (I’m a retired cop btw)

  • soulman

    Officer Willowtown – I’m on your side, but you must admit that no one makes more jokes about the Irish drinking and fighting than the Irish and perhaps especially Irish-Americans. When I visited Dublin in the 90’s, half the souvenir t-shirts had beer references in English and Gaelic. I’ve still got one, although it doesn’t fit anymore, perhaps due to the Guinness they hooked me on.

  • KT

    Anyone notice the front of the building before the new Custom House sign went up? There appeared to be a faint imprint, or shadow from a former sign which said Hebrew National. (At least that’s what I remember seeing, it was almost a week ago and it could have been another famous hot dog guy). What’s the history there? Anyone remember it?

  • KT

    Ok, just answered my own question by reading the above link. oops!

  • Arch Stanton

    Nor was my comment “bigoted” I never mentioned any ethnicity, race or person, I just a refereed to the bar. If anyone made a connection to the supposed type of bar, it is because the stereotype exists in their mind.

    Besides it was only a joke, playing on the dullness of Montague St and hopes that the new place will generate some excitement. :)

  • soulman

    Your response is very “arch”, Arch.

  • Heightster

    It is hard to make a racist comment when one isn’t referring to a race. Last time I checked, Irish is not a word describing a race. I would say that Irish is a nationality (describing people from Ireland or of Irish descent) and most, but not all, Irish people are usually referred to as white or Caucasian.

    The comment was prejudiced or stereotyping not racist.

  • skunky

    Drinking to excess engenders violence, regardless of the ethnicity of the establishment in question (can a bar have ethnicity?). Sounds like Willowtown Cop needs to chill out and nurse a pint of Guinness.

    Now if we could only get an Amsterdam-style coffeeshop to open, we’d be in clover.

  • Arch Stanton

    @soulman, Thanks.

  • L.C. Armstrong

    Hate the signage. Bad choice of typeface and color. They need black or dark green ground and gold-leafed lettering. (I’m an artist and ex-sign painter.)

  • David on Middagh

    Agree with those who dislike the typeface. Maybe in a few years they’ll move down the street and get it right in the re-do, as Starbucks has. Not that all Montague businesses should have the new Starbucks sign, but kudos to whoever made that happen.

    BTW, Homer, “Triviata” sounds like a game I’d like to play! This blog has the best typo’s.

  • C.

    I agree the sign is really boring. Looks virtually unchanged from La Traviata. Doesn’t look like an Irish pub at all.

  • She’s Crafty

    Re: the signage let’s take a deep breath and see how they present the rest of the entrance, which could make it or break it. In any case, I’m psyched for this place and hope it will be like Kitty O’Tooles, i.e. a decent irish breakfast and upscale-ish pub food, good burgers and good beer with a decent decor and unobtrusive tvs. The kind of place I’d be happy going to for any meal, brunch, lunch, dinner, whatever.

  • Ray M


    My name is Ray and I am one of the owners of The Custom House. Wow thank you for all your comment we are really happy to see such interest in our new venture. We hope to be open for business the first week of June (will keep you updated). When you guys stop by for a pint or a bite to eat my business partner and I would be more than happy to answer any and all of you questions.
    We are very happy to be part of the neighborhood and look forward to meeting you all.

  • Steve V

    Hi Ray,
    Just noticed the new place today. Do you have any information on employment opportunities yet? I am a bartender with several years of experience in NYC, including stints at the beloved Montague St. Saloon and Annie’s Blue Moon. Since those establishments closed, Montague St. just hasnt been the same. Glad to see a new pub opening up!