Bye-Bye, Banana Republic

The windows are papered over, and a sign on the door confirms that Banana Republic is leaving the neighborhood. We’ve got the Banana Republic factory store (bargains galore!) on Fulton Mall, but a the loss of a reasonably priced option for decent clothing (even if it is a national chain) is not, in this writer’s opinion, a good thing for Montague Street.

On April 19, Montague Street merchants reflected in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on the preponderance of empty storefronts on our neighborhood’s high street. Said Enrico Palazio, whose family bought Key Food in 1982:

“The vacant shop fronts are bad for Montague Street. That goes for any neighborhood. I’d rather those places have tenants, but Montague Street is only for people that can afford it now. It’s tough for the mom-and-pop stores…Montague Street isn’t as great as it used to be…Montague Street growing up was the ‘it’ street. That’s where you wanted to be.”

I’ll go ahead and open that can of worms…what would you like to see go in that space? And how do you feel about the departure of the Banana Republic store?

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  • Concerned

    I really liked this store and its convenient location. Too bad. Now, the worry I have is “What will move in, next?” Let’s hope it’s something that positively contributes (or at least doesn’t stand out as a monster eyesore) to the ambiance of the neighborhood. That is a great corner and I think some of the latest additions have been good ones. I have to say, Pinto is damn delicious, fast and has an appealing aesthetic.

  • Joe Dudas

    Banana Rep vacancy aside, I’m convinced all the restos on the south-side b/w Clinton/Henry have an impossible time because of the bi-level layout of those buildings.

    No one wants to eat partially ‘underground’. And it’s impossible to see into the 2nd floor restos from street level.

    Seems to me to be the reason for soooo much turnover.

  • Pineapple Pete

    it’s big enough to house a larger restaurant…. I wouldn’t hate a cheesecake factory!

  • BHMommy

    I’m not a Banana Republic fan, but would love a comparable shopping option, like J. Crew, Zara or Club Monaco

  • Reggie

    Teresa, is there an unintended double negative in your statement, “…a reasonably priced option for decent clothing (even if it is a national chain) is not, in this writer’s opinion, a good thing for Montague Street.”? Did you mean to say, ‘a reasonably priced option for decent clothing (even if it is a national chain) is a bad thing for Montague Street.’?

  • Heights

    It lasted at that location for quite a while. I remember when Nettie’s used to be there!

  • Teresa

    Fixed. Thanks. Bad proof-reading on my part, so appreciate your keen eye.

  • Concerned

    You are obviously entitled to your opinion, but I would hate a Cheesecake Factory there. Not because I hate Cheesecake Factory, but more because it would draw the most obnoxious of crowds. I’m also now annoyed because my computer instantly capitalizes Cheesecake Factory, as if it is a country or state or something that she be held in high esteem.

  • dorachild

    I would hardly call “Banana Republic” a decent priced store. It is just an overpriced GAP and owned by the same parent company (along with Old Navy).

  • Greg

    What does parent company ownership have to do with anything?

  • Andy

    I’m old enough to remember when Burger King was there, despite the neighborhood “Whopper Stopper” campaign, but that is a different story from long long ago!

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    It’s a proper noun.

  • Eddyde

    I remember when Nettie’s closed and Burger King wanted to move in, there were protests trying to stop it. The compromise was BK couldn’t cover the front of the building with their ugly red plastic facade, instead they were allowed to have flag as their sign.

  • Jorale-man

    BR’s departure really is the end of an era of sorts on Montague Street. Yes, it’s a chain but it was a true anchor store for the block.

    It’s a fairly grand building. It seems like it needs a store than can live up to the space. Would be nice to see an upscale market – a Union Market or Citarella, for instance.

  • Concerned

    I understand, but that was not my point. The point I was making was that my computer capitalizes it as a proper noun, sua sponte.

  • Jeff Strong

    Burger King? La Traviata?

  • DIBS

    Probably a political narrative.

  • Arch Stanton

    Why, it saves you from the tremendous hassle of pushing the shift key.

  • Reggie

    Oh, crap. Now you have made me feel really old.

  • Joralemon Peace Keeper

    Well I don’t know where you’ve been but Brooklyn Heights already has obnoxious crowds

  • Love Laner

    Interesting point!

  • StudioBrooklyn

    In fairness, isn’t there something to be said for the deliberate use of double-negative? I feel like there’s a nuanced distinction between “a bad thing” and “not a good thing” to which those who comprehend the English language are entitled.

  • Andrew Porter

    This space started as a bank, and decades ago, when Burger King (then owned by Pillsbury) wanted the space, they wanted to make it look like every other BK by destroying the facade. The BHA organized a picket line at Pillsbury’s office in Manhattan. I was there, with Judy Stanton and a lot of others. Eventually the company caved in, and opted for a banner instead of a giant neon sign and removal of the pillars.

    For many years, I think we had the most tasteful, low-key Burger King storefront in NYC.

    BTW, I’m not “Andy,” whoever he is.

  • brooklynbull

    Just saw this. BR stopped supporting the store several months ago – poor selection, inconvenient layout — yes it’s a national chain, but the Montague Street store felt like a poor relation to the larger, better stocked BR stores in Manhattan.

    Please – not another bank or real estate company — or another fast food restaurant. Perhaps a high-end food shop/market to provide some competition to the too-often woeful Garden of Eden. Or even – something like an Apple Store — crazy we have so few tech savvy venues here, given the neighborhood’s media/tech/Wall Street/student population……

  • Teresa

    The deliberate use of a double negative for effect–“He is not unlike his older brother”–is a literary device called “litotes.” I am not unknown to use it, but this case was just a typo.

  • ReallyReallyBigMan
  • Claude Scales

    Wasn’t litotes, along with sarcasm, metaphor, and dramatic irony, one of the dreaded weapons used by Doug in the Piranha Brothers sketch on Monty Python?

  • AEB

    I’m hoping for a combi bad Thai restaurant/expensive drugstore/dreck jewelry shop/twenty-five square-foot kids’ daycare center….

  • CookieGuggleman

    /nail salon

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Might be nice to have a store that sells mobile phones and services.