Anchor Away at 76 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights

The news I had feared and knew inevitable came with this Eagle story confirming that the owner of Friend of a Farmer, the restaurant that is moving into the space at 76 Montague formerly occupied by Design Within Reach, will remove the antique anchor (photo) that has been displayed in front of the building since the days when it was occupied by a ship brokerage, to make way for outdoor seating. Four crossings of the Atlantic by sea in my childhood made me a lover of all things maritime, and that anchor has been my friend since I moved to the Heights in 1983. Living as I do at the foot of Montague, I’ve walked past it almost every day that I’ve been here.

I would love to see it remain in the Heights rather than sent off to some distant spot like the Navy Yard. My notion of an ideal place is at the center of the circle at the south end of the Promenade, near the foot of Remsen Street. It would then “anchor” the south end, just as the armillary globe anchors the north end. This would require the cooperation of the City’s Parks Department, but perhaps with the assistance of the Brooklyn Heights Association and other community voices, we could make it happen.

Publisher’s Note: To support Claude’s proposal, “like” this page on Facebook now!

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  • Bornhere

    Claude — The anchor and chains were a source of great fun for my son, who was born in 1982. It would be yet another loss to the community if they can’t be kept here to continue to honor the ship owners and seafarers who were once so much a part of the the neighborhood. Yours is an excellent idea, but if the Heights Press is correct, support from the BHA might be minimal (

    Although an effort to retain the anchor may be more monumental than the successful effort to “Save the Neon Lobster,” I am sure there are many of us who would be happy to contribute financially, if the cost of moving and securing it elsewhere becomes the major problem.

  • johnny cakes

    If the anchor can’t be saved in the neighborhood, then it should be chained around Andew Cuomo’s neck, and then all thrown into the harbor for his closing Long Island College Hospital. Just a thought.

  • Heights Observer

    It should stay in Brooklyn Heights, not in Manhattan at the East River Park as Judy Stanton has suggested. A good location would be right down the block at the Montague Street entrance to the Promenade.

  • heights res

    I think that relocating the anchor to “the center of the circle at the south end of the Promenade, near the foot of Remsen Street” is a great idea.

  • Mini_Cooper

    Oh bummer!!! This restaurant is certainy starting off on the wrong foot in the Heights. Aside from that, we really don’t need another eatery on Montague.

  • Michael Rock

    I would donate to a “save the anchor” campaign. Should this be a kick starter thing?

  • Davidsoul

    Actually, we really just need one good one.

  • ClaudeScales

    I think that the offer by Mr. Spille, who owns the anchor, to donate it to the BHA, and therefore make the BHA its custodian, caused Ms. Stanton to respond defensively. I don’t think the BHA is hostile to the anchor or to its remaining in the Heights, so long as they aren’t responsible for it. I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t support its being moved to a suitable location in the Heights, either on public or private property.

  • Moni

    Couldn’t agree more. What a disappointment Taperia was, and I can’t figure out what theDumpling House is all about (doesn’t look inviting). Oh for the old Armando’s when it was run by Al Mallo , or the old Foffe’s in its heyday.

  • Moni

    I second the motion.

  • Boerum Bill

    Grrr. Why don’t they just call the restaurant Son of a Son of a Sailor and keep the doggone anchor?!

  • jv

    Sad to hear that. Although I understand why the restaurant doesn’t want it there. Claude, i like your idea for it. It makes perfect sense to have it anchor the south end of the promenade.

  • JoT

    YES! I’m welcoming Friend of a Farmer with open arms.

  • Ann B Chapin

    Dumpling House has exactly 5 “dumplings” on the menu and no Moo Shu Pork!!!

  • Gleaming Gorgonzola

    Perhaps they should put the Anchor on the roof of PierHouse so everyone can see it!

  • ShinyNewHandle

    Perhaps they should anchor Pierhouse against the next flood…

  • montague retail

    Can someone just open a craft beer and high-end cheese shop on Montague St. and make a fortune already? I know that rents are high. Another thing that’s high in the neighborhood: the concentration of yuppies who really love spending $$$ on good beer and good cheese. It’s astonishing to me that capitalism is not working in Brooklyn Heights, i.e., why hasn’t this happened already?!? Why are the business owners in this neighborhood not more aware of the sheer volume of high-income yuppies that are in Brooklyn Heights? Yes, it’s not as concentrated as in Cobble Hill, but it’s still a lot of people who like to spend a lot of money on classically yuppie goods.

  • Rodney P.

    if it’s going to manhattan, it belongs in front of the Ear Inn, a great old bar that was once frequented by sailors!!

  • ShinyNewHandle

    Montague Retail, what do you think of the cheese selection at Garden of Eden? (Or Sahadi’s?)

  • Philip Galindo

    Sounds like plan A, to me!

  • miriamcb

    I had the same exact thought. I was excited for lots of dumplings and then very disappointed when I took a look at the menu!

  • William Gilbert

    There is still a lot of “old” money in Brooklyn Heights, much more so than in Cobble Hill. Old money does not waste money. They still have the first set if linen sheets they bought 40 years ago. They buy quality and they buy to last. Nothing wrong with that – it’s just the way they are. The nouveau riche are a different lot – yuppies, techies and millennials, they are the ones who buy craft pickles and beer and twee stuff and they don’t do it in Brooklyn Heights.

  • Hicksanthrope

    YES! This!

  • cat

    Awful restaurant. Food is terrible. As bad as Andy’s was, it was better than this. And this is why no one eats there.

  • cat

    Hey, don’t take it out on the restaurant, which will be a great addition to the neighborhood. I, for one, have worried about that anchor for years. Small children do play on it and I worry there will be a law suit one day.

  • Jorale-man

    This always puzzled me too. Much of the retail on Montague St. isn’t aimed at the residents of the neighborhood. Obviously they see a captive audience in the lunchtime crowd from the courts, etc., but that’s just a couple hours a day. What about evenings, weekends or breakfast? I always thought a branch of Union Market would make sense there too (and yes Garden of Eden isn’t bad, IMO, but there’s room for more).

  • sammybaby

    Save the anchor! I think it would be a great fixture at the promenade. My daughter loved to play restaurant with her friends there…

  • Lori

    It should be at the foot of Montague Street inside the fenced-in area or somewhere else inside the fenced-in gardens of the promenade. The city will not approve of having it out in the open at the Remsen Street circle of the promenade – too easy for some kid to fall off, injure himself and have the city sued. Sorry to be negative, but I am surprised this never happened while the anchor was in front of 76 Montague inside the chained in area. It was never intended to be playground equipment.

  • REP

    The smell of antiseptic when you enter Garden of Eden makes it impossible for me to buy anything.

  • pineapplecran

    could not agree more. Union Market would absolutely be huge in BK Heights. I’ve never been more baffled by NYC commerce than on Henry Street north of Clark and Montague. Seems like they are missing huge opportunities in this neighborhood.