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