Fishs Eddy Sleeps with the Fishes


Just as we were recovering from the death of Palmira's comes news that our favorite dish store, Fishs Eddy on Montague Street is closing. There is a silver lining however, 75% off while supplies last!

We're looking forward to the combination optometrist/bank/cellphone store/chinese take out place that will be moving into the space. 

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  • Claude Scales

    I’ve lived on Montague Street since July of 1983, so, going on 24 years now. Right now, I’m trying to do a mental inventory of the businesses (banks excluded) that have survived on the street for that length of time. Here goes:

    Key Food
    La Traviata (It had a different name, but remains the same.)
    Variety Mart (God bless them. A few mornings ago I broke our Melita coffee pot, and was able to find a replacement there before my wife found out.)
    Promenade Car Service (?) (I’m not sure, but I can’t recall anything else in that space.)
    Armando’s (There was a rumor last summer that it was going to close, which caused panic among some long-term Heights residents.)
    Grand Canyon
    Happy Days Diner (Again, I think there was a name change, but I can’t recall anything but a diner there.)
    Bentley’s Shoes
    Lychee Nut
    Atkins’ Florist (Formerly Weir-Atkins; I miss the angry political screeds that used to adorn a chalkboard in front of the place.)
    Montague Street Jewelers

    So, that’s thirteen (max) stores that have survived nearly a quarter century on a street that probably has ten times as many commercial spaces. I’m trying to divine a connection between them, but find it hard. I suspect that some of them are in buildings owned by the store’s proprietor, and therefore do not have to meet a landlord’s demands (other than the proprietor/landlord’s own sense that s/he might make more money by going out of business and leasing the space).

    I’m not sure what it takes to be a successful merchant on Montague (other than being the only supermarket, or a long-established restaurant with a substantial and loyal following). Back in my early days in the Heights, someone told me that, to succeed on Montague, you had to appeal to “the Court Street crowd”, i.e. the civil servants who worked in the courthouses, Municipal Building and Board of Education, because Heights residents all worked in Manhattan and did their shopping (apart from groceries and, perhaps, hardware) there. Maybe that’s still true.

  • 5w30

    Don’t forget Lassen + Hennigs. They’ve been around for a long time, no? Nice people with good service.

  • BklynJace

    Promenade moved down to Dumbo, but still comes to the Heights. The new car service in that space is Prominent. Cute, huh?

  • Kevin Moore

    Any news on Mike’s Steak & Rape House…looks like it’s ready to go bottom up.

    Kapodokkya is gone….and I don’t give the new Henry Street as Smith Street much hope either.

  • Claude Scales

    Yikes! How could I forget Lassen & Hennigs? I did have a feeling that I would forget at least one prominent establishment — such is the fallibility of the human, or at least my, brain. I also forgot the little M&H newsstand/smoke and candy shop.

    I didn’t realize Kapadokya had closed, but I’m not surprised. I kept meaning to try the place, but never got around to it. My wife had drinks and hors d’ouvres with friends there once. She said it was OK, but overpriced. I miss the Hungarian restaurant that was there when I first moved to the Heights.

    Speaking of places I miss: (1) Capulet’s, which served as my local pub for about two years after I moved here, until Roger the owner deided to become a country squire in Connecticut; (2) David Rayne, a men’s clothier that occupied one of the upstairs spaces on the south side between Henry and Clinton, and sold goods worthy of Brooks Brothers at reasonable prices; (3) the tea and coffee store in one of the other upstairs spaces on that block; (4) Kleiman-Spector Pharmacy, for the pharmacist’s wit and wisdom; and (5) of course, Mr. Souvlaki.

  • LD

    I passed the old Souvlaki’s on my way to work this a.m. and asked one of the workers what was going in there: a dentist’s office. ho hum

  • Claude Scales

    I’ve heard it’s to be a “dental clinic”; no doubt, one servicing the civil service workers’ union dental plan. This gives more support to the “Court Street” hypothesis stated in the last paragraph of my top post. I have nothing against establishments that serve the needs of municipal employees who work nearby, but do wish places that cater to Heights residents could prosper, too.

    BTW, I need to make one more correction to my top post. The name of the florist that has survived my residence on Montague is James Weir, formerly James Weir-Atkins.

  • Claude Scales

    Wow! This thread does keep me going down memory lane. The diner that occupied what is now the Heights Cafe space was called the Promenade Restaurant, and was open 24/7. Many a pre-dawn Saturday or Sunday morning I’d be walking from Clark Street to where I live on Montague, having stayed at my favorite Village watering hole, the Lion’s Head, until closing time. More times than not, when I’d get to the corner of Hicks and Montague, I’d be overcome by a craving for a grilled cheese and ham sandwich. I noticed that the counterman would write “GAC [for Grilled American Cheese] ham” on my tab. One morning, I staggered in and said, “I’ll have my usual GAC [I pronounced it gack] ham.” “Jack ham,” the counterman said. Thereafter, whenever I came in, he’d say, “Jack ham?”

    I’d forgotten about the record store. I believe that before it there was a toy store in that space. One morning as I walked by I saw a wooden model sailboat on the shelf just inside the window. It was identical to one I had been given for my seventh birthday almost forty years before. I was thinking of buying it and putting it on my windowsill, but before I got around to it, the place (natch) closed.

    One place I should have listed among those I miss is Old Mexico, which was where Subway is now. The food was so-so and the beer too often warm, but when Leonard was singing and playing his guitar, the atmosphere was sublime.

    One place I’m having trouble remembering previous tenants is that now occupied by Washington Mutual and the real estate office at the northeast corner of Montague and Henry. Its immediate past tenant was Waldenbooks, but there was something else there before. If I’m not suffering premature memory failure, I think it was the Italian restaurant that later changed its name to La Traviata. As I recall, the space now occupied by La Traviata was previously a kosher deli where I would occasionally get a steamed hot dog with kraut and mustard.

  • lifer

    grew up in cobble hill, i wanna play,

    Baskin Robbins where the eyeglass place is (mont/henry)
    Community Bookstore used to be above Lychee Nut
    The Cabin (woods wear and bandanas and rock pins) where Amin is
    pizza place where Cocoran is
    Montague Street Saloon
    toy store by mont. and hicks across from the Bosert hotel (where japanese restaurant is)
    is B÷H photo still around?
    I think Happy Days used to be a realtor
    cigar shop down by court (we used to buy cloves there in high school)
    a restaurant callled “Capulets on Montague” where Mr Suvllaki used to be
    Mr suvlaki
    a record store/ video game place/head shop next to where Baskin Robbins used to be, a fruit store after that
    just off the top o me head…
    the only thing that changes is change….

    we used to raise hell in front of that burger king when we were in our early teens.

  • Claude Scales

    Ah, the Cabin. The proprietor was a nice guy. I remember going there to kit myself out for a cross-country ski trip. When I asked about gloves, he said, “Look in that box over there that says ‘Just in from Korea.'”

    When I moved to the Heights in ’83, Capulet’s was in the space now occupied by Cafe Buon Gusto (back then it had a cute fake Tudor half-timbered facade, in keeping with its Shakespearean name), and Mr. Souvlaki was in the space it remained in until it went out of business. Was it previously in the space later taken by Capulet’s?

  • lifer

    you are correct, Claude, my bad…I remember the facade of Capulet’s, it was like walking into a theater set…further down the heights, would you remember when the “Last Exit” bar on Atlantic ave was the original “Waterfront Ale House”…now that was back in the day…

  • Claude Scales

    Don’t feel bad, Lifer. My posts above show confusion about where some establishments were, and when.

    I vaguely remember Waterfront Ale House being on the south side of Atlantic, but, as you say, that was a long time ago.

    Do you remember a little Swedish restaurant that was on the north side of Atlantic, I think just east of Hicks Street? I had a magnificent Christmas smorgasbord there in 1983. Of course, it closed shortly after that.

    Other places of cherished memory on Atlantic are Moroccan Star, where I became very fond of a lamb and okra stew called Eastern Glaba, and Pete’s Ice Cream Parlor, where my daughter celebrated one of her birthdays.

  • Rob

    Doesn’t anybody remember Leaf & Bean? It was a great coffee & tea shop with a charming restaurant in back where you could get a great breakfast or lunch. It was on the second floor on the south side of Montague between Henry and Clinton.

  • BklynJace

    I miss that ice cream parlor on Atlantic. It had a cat who always had ice cream behind his ears (where he couldn’t reach) because he’d crawl into empty barrels of ice cream to lick them clean. Man was that a big cat.

    I was introduced to the ice cream parlor as “Non-Alcoholic Pete’s” because you’d go after eating dinner and drinking too many beers at Pete’s on the south side of Atlantic.

  • Claude Scales

    If you’ll scroll up to my January 4, 11:09 am post, you’ll see among my list of places I miss the tea and coffee store on the north side of Montague between Henry and Clinton. I couldn’t remember the name, so thanks for reminding me of “Leaf & Bean”.

    This discussion has been a most enjoyable reminiscence.

  • Gerard Splendore

    How may I subscribe to this wonderful website?

  • lifer

    Bklyn Jace, I believe that ice cream place was called “la coup de glace” (spelling may be off)…

  • Homer Fink
  • Tim N.

    I remember the Baskin Robbins, and I think the OTB was on the other side of Clinton, next to the Blimpie’s. The OTB guys used to eat there, few others did!

    The Promenade restauarnt used to be frequented by ol’ Norman, our former neighbor!

    And does anyone remember Ozzie’s??? We loved that place.

  • Maya Hunt

    I can go back even further than most of you regarding stores in the Heights. I used to live on Henry near Pierpont. Back in the late 60s to the mid 70s the Heights was really a self contained community. On Montague I remember a hardware store, a ladies clothing store, a Mexican restaurant, a laundermatte, a ballet studio, a small supermarket, a Japanese food store, a pottery studio. Too bad the chains have taken over.

  • bornhere

    We can do this for days: Ebinger’s, Sinclair’s (before it went to Henry, which used to be a lovely antique store, Womrath’s bookstore, and where the former vegetarian Chinese food restaurant was, there was Stuff ‘n’ Nonsense, one of the first “beatnik-transitioning-to-hippie” clothing stores. And a GREAT old hair salon (probably where Hair Profiles is now) called Rozelle’s. I seem to recall thinking Rozelle looked like Lucille Ball. And I think the women’s clothing store was Nettie’s. A more recent loss (in the 80s) was Old Hungary.

  • alice

    Why can’t our nabe support independent businesses and not chains?

  • Bklyn Native


    As a former Montague Street independent store owner for 7 years, I can tell you why….the astronomical rents that landlords command. It’s nearly impossible for an indy mom and pop to a) have the working capital to begin to break even and b) after breaking even handing the results of a hard month’s work to the landlord.

    The chains can hold on forever; some of them never even break even because one established location supports a less established location. In fact, some chains use “high profile” areas like Montague Street just for exposure, hoping to add cache to their brand so to lift sales across the entire chain, not just one location that may actually lose money.

    Yes, I know, it’s hard to believe that old Montague Street adds cache to any brand.

  • Paul G

    Banana Republic was a Burger King with ashtrays! hahhaha

  • nabeguy

    Wow, I can’t belive I missed this thread the 1st time around. Van Vlecks was the liquor store where Sleepy’s now is; the last owner Gil, is now running Brooklyn Liquors next to Costco. Anybody remember Mike’s sandwich shop where Taste of the East now is? Best meatball heros ever. I think BornHere has the longest memory, as the Sinclair’s and Ebinger’s must have both closed by ’70 (Ebinger’s went first if I recall). I’ll never forget the striped string on the Ebinger boxes, as well as their walnut coffee cake. And Capulets was definitely one of my go-to watering holes, even if Ron Green scared the daylights out of me with his Vietnam flashbacks.

  • statestreeter

    Not that I’m waiting for it, but amazing that the dental clinic was referred to on 1/4/07 and here it is one year later and they still haven’t opened. Why can’t Montague Street get its act together?

  • nabeguy

    Their baby teeth haven’t fallen out yet, that’s all.

  • bornhere

    I think that Ebinger’s (with their snappy, mint green boxes) was gone long before the 70s. Does anyone remember Stuff and Nonsense, a really neat clothing store (in the 60s!!) where the new Vietnamese restaurant is?

  • bklynred

    Sinclairs closed in the 80s. I moved in to the neighborhood in 1980 and it was there on Henry Street between Montague and Pierrepont for a couple of years

  • Sheila White

    I lived in the Heights from 1989 to 2004. I remember all of the changes that have occurred over this period of time. I remember also the Montague Saloon. The food was pretty good and the place was always busy. Do you remember that when it closed down it became the Montague Street News? I can’t recall how long they were there, but Patti and Eric ran the store. Does anyone remember?