The Daily News has been highlighting spots worth visiting near various subway stops, and Rachel Wharton’s piece today focuses on the Borough Hall station. The three places she chooses for her article are Armando’s, Lassen & Hennigs, and O’Keefe’s. She notes that Armando’s “swinging red neon sign” with its iconic lobster “appeared on ‘The Cosby Show’” and that Paul Osmers calls himself “the oldest living bartender on [Montague] street.” Wharton also mentions that among the celebrities who have imbibed or dined there was the late Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale, who mentioned the place in his autobiography.
Wharton describes how, after Alfred Calfa bought Lassen & Hennigs in 1969, he “boiled tongue by the pound,” but that his sons, who now run the place, “updated things for their clientele, replacing the boiled tongue with specialty sandwiches.” The owners’ “pride and joy,” according to Thomas Calfa, is the store’s bakery, which produces its signature red velvet cakes, also available at the L&H stall at Smorgasburg.
O’Keefe’s, at 62 Court Street, is a place that may not be familiar to many Heights residents. It’s a popular after work spot for the lawyers, judges, court officers, and other civil servants whose courts and offices are nearby. Wharton describes it as “the familiar corner tavern where you can usually get a seat with a view of the game along with your decent burger and fries.” She notes that “its wooden bar…seems to stretch the length of a city street” and that its “claim to fame” is “crispy and nicely spiced Buffalo wings.” Your correspondent recalls that O’Keefe’s once featured live music, mostly blues, on weekend nights.