Will Montero’s Soon Be Just A Memory?

According to a story in today’s New York Times, Pepe Montero, skipper of the Montero Bar and Grill, which has been in business since 1939 and in its present location at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Hicks Street since Robert Moses tore down the original one across Atlantic to make room for the BQE, is considering a sale of the building it occupies that could bring him $7 million. “Skipper” is an apt term for Mr. Montero, as the bar’s original customer base consisted of longshoremen working the nearby but now long closed docks, as well as sailors from visiting ships. The latter still drop in from time to time, when foreign and U.S. naval ships dock at nearby Pier 7. The bar is decorated with nautical memorabilia (Did they ever get back the missing life preserver?).

The Times story reports that Mr. Montero has agreed to join with the owners of the adjoining row of buildings, all four story structures of 19th century vintage, if an offer of $56 million is made for them all. There are seven buildings in the row, so if the proceeds of a sale are divided equally, Mr. Montero would get $7 million. A buyer’s options with respect to the buildings would be limited by their being within the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, and thus under the jurisdiction of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, as well as being subject to a fifty foot height restriction. So, no worry that they will be razed and replaced by a high rise.

If Montero’s does go, it will be missed both by nautical buffs like me, and by fans of Amethyst Valentino’s karaoke nights.

Photo: Heather Quinlan

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  • Andrew Porter

    Although the NY Times piece didn’t have a link for comments, I called the reporter and left the message that being within the Landmarked area severely restricts the possibilities for redevelopment of the buildings.

  • William Gilbert

    I don’t doubt that, with today’s aggressive real estate developers, ANYTHING can happen with that site. Who would have thought we’d lose the view after there were promises that it would be preserved? Don’t believe anything the developers say. We won’t know for sure until after it is developed.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    Sadly Monteros kind of died already when it needlessly turned into a Karaoke bar. Pepe while being a nice guy, isn’t the best businessman. The place has no tap beer and the bottle selection is dismal. The bartenders are not very skilled in making newer cocktails and the lack of a soda gun doesn’t help that situation. He seems to think, the only way to bring in customers is to have a bunch of hipsters caterwauling to crappy pop tunes. Emma did it right with the Long Island Restaurant. If only he had the sense to follow the example modernize the infrastructure of the bar, maybe he wouldn’t be so quick to quit.

  • ShinyNewHandle
  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com ClaudeScales

    Developers don’t always win, and the 50′ height limit has been tested on Atlantic Avenue when Walentas wanted to put “cabanas” on top of the new building he built next to Trader Joe’s. He lost.

  • DIBS

    Also, there is very little DAR available. It would require a number of variances, etc.

  • DIBS

    Or, he just doesn’t care to do so which I think is more the case

  • Boerum Bill

    Stick to Hank Pub, Arch and let us caterwauling hipsters sing, drink crappy beer, have fun and bask in the history of an amazing place.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    I and others talked with him about this numerous times. He just doesn’t see the potential.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    Ha, I have over 30 years history at Monteros. Maybe you should stick to Hanks as it’s in your neighborhood.

  • stuart

    Daughters of the American Revolution?
    Maybe you mean FAR?

  • stuart

    It looks like his ship finally arrived.

  • William Gilbert

    That was then and this is now. Mayor Bill is not our friend (remember his LICH “support”) and is in bed with the developers. With five skyscraper condos going up within the immediate vicinity, it will only “feed the greed.”
    I wish I could be more optimistic, but I can’t.