Heights Flashback: Promenade Restaurant

BHB Ten member Melanie Hope Greenberg sent us this c. 1980s photo of the Promenade Restaurant.  The location at 84 Montague Street is now home of the Heights Cafe.

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  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    I loved that place. Back in my unmarried days, when I’d sometimes close the Lion’s Head in Greenwich Village at 4 A.M. then ride the 2 or 3 to Clark Street, I’d stop there for a grilled cheese and ham before staggering the final block home.

  • AEB

    I note the graffiti on the left. Perhaps some things have gotten better.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Love the Lion’s Head Sheperd’s Pie. Brought back some fond memories.

  • skunky

    not having had the pleasure of eating at the Heights Cafe (strollers frighten me, and there seems to be a stroller derby there every day), the Promenade was the hangout of my disaffected adolescent years, where you could smoke cigarettes and drink coffee and have a Belgian waffle.

    There is pretty much no chance in hell that I will ever eat at the Heights cafe, simply because it will ruin the nostalgia.

  • http://www.amazon.com/City-Norman-Rosten/dp/0805067930 Melanie Hope Greenberg

    I took this photo for a painting I was working of the Hicks St. shops. A great meet up place with friends for breakfast or coffee. I miss the plastic flowers in the window and Jetson’s style overhead lamps. If you click on the photo to enlargen it, you can see the Montague St sign. Brooklyn poet laureate, Norman Rosten met at the Promenade Restaurant with the Lunch Club, which included Norman Mailer. Rosten wrote about the Lunch Club in his novel, “Neighborhood Tales”. Click on the link to my name for a link to the book I illustrated for Norman Rosten called A CITY IS which portrays scenes of Brooklyn Heights.

  • Anonymous

    When did the Promenade Restaurant close? I remember when I moved here in the 90s there was something else in that space than the heights cafe. Was that the Promenade Restaurant?

  • http://www.valeriefrankel.com val

    I had many late nights at the Promenade. Greasy fries and brown gravy on the way home from nights out in the city. FYI: One of the Promenade waiters landed a job at the Heights Cafe when it opened, and he is still working there, it must be seventeen years later.

  • CJP

    Years ago I remember seeing a movie, whose title I can’t remember, that was shot almost entirely in Brooklyn.

    There were a couple of scenes that showed the exterior of the Promenade, and perhaps even the interior. Anyone know the name of the movie I’m talking about?

  • nabeguy

    Nothing like their “Lumberjack” breakfast after a late night of partying. Claude, did you know Paul Schiffman at the Head? One of the best bartenders in NY history.

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    Did I know Paul Schiffman? Many a night began with me sitting at the bar and Paul behind it. When his shift ended at 8:00, he would often take a seat on the customer side and socialize. One night, early in my tenure there, he took a seat next to me. Knowing of his former life as a sea captain, I told him of my interest in ships and the sea, which began with my having made four crossings of the Atlantic by ship during my childhood. He interrupted me with a dismissive remark about “landlubbers and bollard squatters.” A few months later, I was again sitting next to him and, having had enough beer to give me Dutch courage, tried my luck again. I told him that I’d read that the Liberté, on which I’d sailed twice, had been sold to a Japanese company that blew her up as part of a movie. I said I’d cried when I read that, because I loved the ship. He put his arm around my shoulders and said, “Claude, that’s something you and I understand, that landlubbers and bollard squatters never will.”

  • nabeguy

    Yeah, that sounds like Paul. Never quite got off the water, salty ol’ dog that he was.

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    Paul’s still going strong. I saw him a couple of months ago at a book party for Dermot McEvoy’s new novel, Our Lady of Greenwich Village, at the Kettle of Fish, which occupies the former Lion’s Head space.

    Some years back, when he was still working at the Head, he had heart surgery. When he came back to work, he said, “They opened me up and they found out everyone was right. I have no heart.”

  • lifer

    as per the graffiti: “SB” lived in Carroll Gardens, he worked at Campobello Pizza (now Layla Jones”) and was a member in the gang C.F.W. (Crazy F#$%’n Whiteboys- as was I) they terrorized the Heights in the early 80’s…

    As far as the Lion’s Head, Its very cool to read Claude’s memories of that place, I was very young then, but that was a place my mother would take me and my brother to meet my father a few times a year (we were born during an affair and had to meet our father in secret), it was a favorite place of his, and he loved to point out the “literatti” sitting at the bar (whomever it was at that moment.) it brings back memories, as does the Promenade..

  • nabeguy

    CS, glad to hear that Paul is up and about. That man will have to be scuttled before he goes down! And lifer, you’re back-story sounds like it jumped off one of the book jackets that lined the Head’s walls. Great place, great memories. Flaherty, Oppenheimer, Breslin, the whole crew.