Call it what you will… resurrection, revitalization, renaissance or even recovery. The Montague Street retail corridor is healthier than it has been since the economic collapse of 2009… Over the past year or so, a dozen or so new businesses have gained traction, including restaurants, spas, bodegas, bakeries and clothiers. Let’s take a walk up Montague, shall we?
* Around the corner from 84 Montague Street’s Heights Cafe, at 214 & 216 Hicks Street, Della Rocco’s of Brooklyn is coming in June, a brick-oven pizzeria and bar, operated by Brooklyn-bred brothers Greg and Glenn Markman and Joseph Secondino.
* Across the street, the three narrow retail spaces are all filled for the first time in years: At 89 Montague is bodega Heights Deli & Convenience, which opened in April 2010 in space that once housed an upscale clothing boutique and then temporarily served as a political office for Doug Biviano… At 91 Montague is Jeffrey Stein Concept Salon, which opened in January 2011 in the former space of Dimples Kids Spa… And at 93 Montague is February 2012 new kid on the block, VIP Nails & Salon.
* Le Pain Quotidien at 121 Montague opened in mid-April 2012, after previous Jennifer Convertibles closed in April 2010, leaving the space empty for two years. Despite some complaints that sit-down service prices are steep, the joint is an instant hit.
* Starbucks opened May 12, 2012, at 134 Montague in the former location of Nine West Shoes, which closed in July 2010—moving up the street from 112 Montague. That leaves a primary retail space at its shuttered locale, which at one point last decade was a swanky Italian restaurant.
* In September 2011, Indian restaurant Ghandi Palace opened at 140 Montague, in the previous space of same-cuisine Amin, which shuttered a month before.
* Oh My Pasta! opened in September 2011 at 142 Montague, site of the former Taze Turkish restaurant (and Kapadokya before that). The 100% local eatery is owned and operated by Marco Lasala, a Brooklyn Heights resident. Despite a lot of cat-calling from BHB readers about the restaurant’s name, it is thriving.
* Last week, Area Yoga & Spa Center‘s second location (the original is in Carroll Gardens) opened on the second floor of 144 Montague, above Bentley’s shoes, in the former location of Spring Thyme spa.
* Eight months ago Vietnamese “Bubble Tea & Vietnamese Sandwich” shop Hanco’s opened at 147 Montague. Not only is it a runaway favorite on Yelp, but the destination finally made good out of a retail space that was dark for more than a decade.
If you made it this far, perhaps it’s a perfect time to take the Montague Street Business Improvement District’s survey on what folks think about programs & services in the neighborhood. Access the questionnaire here. Cheers, BHB compatriots!