Open Thread Wednesday 12/10/08

Flickr photo by cronopio snowstone

Flickr photo by cronopio snowstone

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • http://BrooklynHeightsBlog Bonnie Burke

    I remember the Saloon as Piccadeli — a deli restaurant with pickles — very popular. There was Danny’s a gay bar just uphill from Key Food.
    You are right about Lennie’s Clam Bar — I remember that. I remember the paper store guy with the cigar, and I also recall a cleaner with a cigar, I believe, who used to sew new buttons on without being asked. When I praised him for this, he said: This is a service business, if you don’t believe in service, I say get out!” He was near me at 62 Montague.

    How about that coffee shop bet. Court and Clinton about where the card store is now. One of my old bosses used to own it and it did a bang up lunch biz. How about the Promenade Diner where the Heights cafe is now?

  • melanie hope greenberg

    I should have remembered that the cigar chomper was named Mel. I have a vaugue memory of a gold motif, booths in the back, at the diner where the Hallmark store is now. Almost forgot about that one. I ate at the The Promenade Diner, it had stylish fixtures from the 1950’s and good breakfasts.

  • Homer Fink

    If anyone has old photos of the Heights send them to us or post on the BHB Photo Club via Flickr.

  • henry & state

    I remember…a Country Store about where the eyeglass store is on the north side of montague. The cheese shop where Andy’s is now. Above lassen & hennings was a restaurant. Heights Cafe was the old promenade dinner had great coffee, a bouillabaisse restaurant over around where Ct. muffin is. a chinese restaurant was in radio shack. The bakery on henry & montague. Old Mexico was really good.

  • BB

    One half of the Corcoran agency used to be home to John’s Pizza! the other half of the space was an all-night bodega.

  • Claude Scales

    When I moved to the Heights in ’83, the butcher shop that had occupied at least part of what is now the Corcoran office had just closed. It was soon replaced by a David’s Cookies, a chain operation. This caused an outcry from locals about chains moving onto Montague, and I remember a letter from the owner of David’s to one of the local papers, saying something like, “the rap that I threw out the butcher is a bunch of bull.” Evidently the landlord did the dirty work for him. David’s didn’t last long, probably because his cookies weren’t up to the standard of the little Italian bakery that was just across Montague, fronting on Henry, in part of what’s now the Ann Taylor Loft space. That little bakery lasted until some time in the mid-to-late ’90s. The all-night bodega replaced David’s. I’m not sure when the pizza place, which was called John’s but had no relation to the famous John’s of Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side, arrived.

  • BKBS

    One of the folks who works at Heights Falafel, up on Henry Street, told me that it’s owned by the same people who owned John’s, which was here in 1998 when I moved here. Gone by 2000, I think. Great pizza and perfect location. I missed it immediately.

  • curious

    I miss the Burger King or Wendys that occupied the now Banana Republic.

  • Teddy

    I had my share of burgers there. That place was a focus point for families in the Heights. It was a time when the Heights had a more family, middle-class vibe where all classes mixed.

  • Claude Scales

    It was a Burger King, and fairly new when I arrived in ’83. Like David’s Cookies, it had been opposed by many residents, who saw it as the beginning of the end of the locally based merchants’ dominance of Montague Street. Of course, they were right about that.

  • Heights Neighbor

    There was a 99 cent store for a short time…I believe where Burger King was…and then Banana Republic. Never ventured in.

  • Billy Reno

    There was a piano bar on Montague?! Oh man, let’s bring that back! Put one in the Busy Chef space on Court,perhaps. Anyone know of any Sunday xmas chorus performances in any of our beautiful Heights churches this weekend or next?

  • http://BrooklynHeightsBlog Karl

    Aesops Fables was a fav restaurant upstairs on Montague way back when in the early 80’s.

    Also use to love that brunch place where you could eat outside in the back. Can’t remember their name but I think they had an establishment in the Slope.

  • melanie hope greenberg

    Karl, Was it Ozzie’s? Before that wasn’t it a place that sold coffees and teas and kitchen items? What was the name? How soon I forget.

  • bornhere

    It was Leaf and Bean before Ozzie’s. Amazing the minutiae we can all come up with when we struggle together :)
    And Claude, the bakery was Regina’s after it was Sinclair’s after the space was an antique store and Sinclair’s moved from Montague to Henry.
    Bonnie – was the Clinton/Court place Sakeles?

  • since47

    All I can say is, THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!

  • Publius

    Ah, Leaf and Bean, they had such an amazing brunch. Best waffles.

  • http://BrooklynHeightsBlog Karl

    Yes Leaf and Bean was the brunch spot I miss to this day. Great service, nice environment, and good food. Now for a good brunch I have to go to Cobble Hills Bar Tabac. On weekends too crowded but weekdays just fine.

    I hear Jack the Horse isn’t bad but haven’t tried their brunch.

  • Claude Scales

    Karl: if you go to the back dining room at Monty Q’s you’ll see some of the illustrations that used to hang in Aesop’s Fables. Both places are/were owned by the same folks who own Lassen & Hennigs.

  • melanie hope greenberg

    My favorite brunch is at Superfine in Dumbo, they have live bluegrass music, and it’s kid friendly. In fact, my latest book is based on marching at Coney Island with the Superfine Dinettes, a performance group I sometimes join, who are stars in the story. Check the link for my brand new kid friendly blog; going to tell the story of how I got this book published. Shameless plug, I know, but it’s a Wednesday thread. Also have photos and paintings of Montague St circa 70’s and 80’s that I need to scan and send to Homer.

  • since47

    Remember the upstairs clothing store called THE CABIN?

  • nabeguy

    Since47, thanks for the Peter Reeve’s memory. The pharmacys full name was Kleinman-Spector’s, the Chinese reaturant that was upstaris was I believe called The China Tea Cup (great Shrimp in Lobster sauce) and Van Vleck’s was a liquior store. In fact, the last owner, Gil, now runs the Brooklyn Warehouse store next to Costco’s. As for Kleinman’s, as with the Parrish Pharmacy on Henry Street, you went there for the store-mixed concoctions that were far superior to the the generic brands…or if you needed a Westclox alarm clock.

  • Berkeley Grosvenor

    Since we’ve drifted forward in time, I have to say I greatly miss the taqueria between Clinton and Henry, closer to Henry, though I can’t remember which exact storefront it occupied. Like Lear & Bean/Ozzies, it was upstairs and you could duck out the rear window and sit on the rickety set up they had to eat al fresco. (I don’t think it wasn’t related to the Seventh Avenue CA Taqueria in the Slope, but was very similar). Before I moved to BH, I’d walk from Ft. Greene, go to the Nat West branch to cash my paycheck, and then have lunch overlooking the back gardens. Heady days!

  • Claude Scales

    since47: sure do remember the Cabin. It was, as I recall, in one of the upstairs spaces on the south side of Montague between Henry and Clinton. I remember going there to kit out for a cross-country ski trip. The owner had, as I recall, a lively sense of humor.

  • bornhere

    Does anyone remember the HUGE pharmacy (waaaay back) on the corner of Montague and Henry (where Ann Taylor is now)?

  • nabeguy

    BH, sounds like it was before my time. Do you remember the name of the vocational school that was located aboe whatt is now the Heights Cafe?

  • bornhere

    York :)

  • AEB

    So what I want to know is, was the cultural tenor of BH much different in the period evoked above?

    How did the place feel THEN as opposed to now?

  • melanie hope greenberg

    Here’s a blast from the past. I took out my old photos of Montague St and we missed some of the shops. Perelandra was upstairs at 154, street level was the Baskin Robbins. Summa Gallery was on the ground level. Next to Summa which is now MAC (?) was William B May Realty, one door down was the Townhouse Restaurant and M&E candy. Frank McCurdy Realty was over these shops. Then came Boro Photo on the street level. There seems to be a gap in photos because I used these photos for a commissioned painting. I do believe the hardware store downstairs is next and is still there today. Gone is the Variety Hardware Store at street level. My photos show 132 Montague St and the stores there are the Cabin on the upper level, under that was the laundromat the sign in it’s window said, “No Work For You, No Time Lost”. Next to that was the Montague French Cleaners, above it was Beds n’ Things. Next up was Hair Unltd on the ground floor next to the Cheese Cellar, above that on the corner of Henry was Chaun Yuan Szechuan Restaurant. In one photo there’s a peek onto Henry Street and I can see where Corocran is now was Montague Meats and May (?) Cleaners. I also have photos of Clover Hill Restaurant where Capulets was and is now Bon Gusto. I’m guessing that the school over the Heights Cafe/Promenade Restaurant was called the York Business School. Does anyone remember the leather shop up the stairs on the corner of Hicks and Montague where the UPS store is now?

  • David on Middagh

    I mourn the aforementioned John’s Pizza on the corner of Montague & Henry. It was a tiny but wonderful place, where the (Moroccan?) pizza chefs bantered in French, and you could sit by the windows as the world went by. I blame the expanded Corcoran, whether the demise of John’s is their fault or not, and will not send them any business.