Armando’s Lobster Needs Landmarks OK

As reported on BHB,  Armando’s owner Peter Byros is getting ready to reopen his legendary Montague Street eatery soon.  On tap to return is the lobster sign which was part of the streetscape for 7 decades but taken down when Byros leased the space to the ill-fated Spicy Pickle.  There’s one catch before the lobster lights up once again reports the Brooklyn Paper:

Brooklyn Paper: Is it lights…: But when Byros removed it to make way for the now-closed Spicy Pickle sandwich chain, the sign lost its protected status. Now, he’s applied for permission to affix it anew above his bistro, which was 72 years old when it closed.

“I have the sign in storage, all cleaned up,” said a hopeful Byros, who added that he’s “working with city.”

The potential disappearance of the signage briefly inspired an ultimately unsuccessful online drive led by Brooklyn Heights Blog writer Homer Fink to win a special landmark designation for the sign itself.

“It’s a beautiful sign and it lights up the whole block,” Fink said last March. “It’s been here for many decades, so I thought, ‘Why not try to save something as iconic as the lobster?’”

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  • yo

    oh the irony…

  • ABC

    Speaking of ill-fated, I think this re-opening is going to be a sad story.

  • AEB

    Alas, neon signs are themselves an endangered species. I mean other than the perfunctory store-window kind.

    Think Times Square: nowadays it’s all LED-lit–a series of giant computer screens, in effect.

    Those who remember (or in other ways envision) the iconic mid-fifties north-Square sign stack, featuring ads for Admiral TV and Canadian Club will know where I’m coming from….

  • bornhere

    I cannot believe this argument, as written in the Brooklyn Paper:
    –But some locals say it’s more of an eyesore than a bright spot.
    “It may need to be smaller and it may need to be modernized,” said Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association. “It was sort of a wonderful piece of memorabilia. It spoke of a different era.”
    A different era, certainly, but not the late 1800s/early 1900s style that the Landmarks Preservation Commission protects when it made Brooklyn Heights the city’s first historic district.–
    The sign’s neon-ness, alone makes it worth rehanging. It was there before most of us were born, and it blazed for decades. The argument that the BHA and LPC are committed to protecting a turn-of-the-century flavor in Brooklyn Heights is ridiculous: just look around at some of the construction and commercial enterprises they allow. And Ms Stanton suggests modernizing 70-year-old signage?? What — maybe tasteful LED?! That they would argue against a legitimate throwback is cuckoo.

  • AEB

    Agree, born. The choice of what constitutes the historically valuable seems entirely arbitrary, as you describe. And in light of the other permitted eyesores on Montague, it’s totally ridiculous.

    Undoubtedly, this boils down to someone’s idea of “tastefulness.” Which often has to do with someone not “getting” a particular aesthetic….

  • nabeguy

    Sounds to me as if Stanton is trying to make sure that she herself doesn’t end up as a “wonderful piece of memorabilia”. Too bad she doesn’t appreciate the unique quality of one of the only businesses that has survived all of the tribulations that Montague Street has experienced for the last 70 years. Judy, you should be embracing them for what they’ve learned and not trying to change the formula.

  • No One Of Consequence

    This is insanity.
    Did they need landmark approval to take the sign down?
    There must be some sort of statute of limitations. Gone for just 6 months out of 72 years, just over 1/2 of 1% of its total “life.”

  • Bob

    Aren’t there bigger fish to fry here ?
    (Wait for it…..)

    We have a tenant folks. Wouldn’t the return of the lobster cast a glow that might thaw the chill we feel when we see the deluge of empty storefronts?
    C’mon Judy, focus on filling Blue Rose, WaMu, Heights Books, et. al. with quality tenants.

    I will take the Lobster over “quality” signage like Sleepy’s, Ricky’s, Spicy Pickle, the Diva anyday.

    This is starting to stink.
    (Wait for it……)

  • Curmudgeon

    Is this serious? If Judy Stanton is suggesting anything than simply putting the sign back, she is an idiot!

  • GHB

    With all the empty storefronts and all the ugly signage along Montague, Judy Stanton’s gonna deny the lobster? What a fool!

  • BB

    Where was the heavy-fisted landmark law when they allowed Love Lane to be gutted, extended and restructured in a historic landmark area? Quit picking on the “shrimp” — there’s bigger fish to fry!

  • my2cents

    did i not jokingly predict this would happen?