Goodbye, Chip Shop, and Other Neighborhood Changes

Your correspondent was deeply saddened, on arriving for his and his wife’s (this time joined by some neighbors) usual Friday night dinner at the Chip Shop, to find at the top of the extensive beers, ales, and ciders menu a note that the place would close at the end of this weekend, having lost its lease. I returned today to enjoy one last Full English Breakfast and the company of others who had been regulars there, as well as some I hadn’t met before, and of long time bartender Liz Drobits (photo).

Atlantic Avenue has lost one other watering hole. Last weekend, as I was walking past, I saw a notice in the window of the empty (on a Saturday afternoon) Roebling Inn, announcing that its last night was the Friday before. Atlantic has thus lost two venues in which fans of English Premier League football (soccer to us Yanks) could gather to cheer their favorites: London’s Arsenal club at the Chip Shop; Liverpool at Roebling.

Reader Haley Geftman-Gold has notified us, on OTW, that the space at the northeast corner of Montague and Henry, above Pinto, formerly occupied by Vegetarian Ginger, is being taken by a chain called Otto’s Tacos. Reader Jorale-man has helpfully given us a link to their menu. There’s another interesting development taking place at 76 Montague, the former Friend of a Farmer location, that’s hardly a secret anymore, but our Teresa Genaro, who has the inside track on this, will be posting about it soon.

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  • Bud Weiser

    How can Cat Cafe afford Friend of a Farmer space? That’s craazy!!!

  • Teresa

    Stay tuned! Details later this week.

  • St. Georgette


  • Andrew Porter

    I did really like The Chip Shop, and used to eat there. I’d also tell visiting Brits about it. Since I’ve cut down drastically on eating out in recent years, I haven’t eaten there.

    I know, it’s the ambience; I’ll certainly miss that, and the 3-wheeled Reliant Robin parked outside.

    If you want to buy Brit foods to eat at home, I suggest Two for The Pot at 200 Clinton, which has tons of Brit foods in cans, bottles and packages. I buy my McVities Ginger Nuts there.

  • Jorale-man

    What a shame. It was bound to happen that Atlantic Avenue would start to go the way of other main drags across NYC. I wonder about the Middle Eastern shops and restaurants there. Hopefully some of them own their spaces, or have benevolent landlords…

  • W.R.

    haha perfect – my last FoaF steak resembled cat food anyway.

  • skb

    Can’t wait for Otto’s Tacos!! Love that place. Any idea when it will open?
    And can’t wait for the FoaF news!!

  • Andrew Porter

    And now comes word that the Ice Cream Factory at Fulton Ferry is closing. Here’s the article in The Eagle, with my comment (and my 1983 photo of what would become The Ice Cream Factory):

  • Andrew Porter

    I know Damascus Bakery owns their building, otherwise they’d have gone years ago. Ditto, of course, Sahadi’s.

    Remember when Atlantic from the river to 4th Avenue consisted almost entirely of Middle Eastern restaurants and stores, antiques places, and rug stores?

  • Eddyde

    Cats will certainly be friendlier too.

  • Diesel

    Better eat em tacos quick, I predict Otto’s won’t last long. Too limited a menu for a solid dinner business and they ain’t gonna survive on the lunch crowd. Plus the curse of the upstairs…

  • Jorale-man

    That’s good to know about Damascus Bakery. I think Atlantic had been more “gentrified” by the time I came to the neighborhood in the 2000s, but I can imagine. I do remember the nice bookstore that used to be in the space where the fancy home furnishings shop is now, and the pizza slice joint where the high-end butcher shop now lives.

  • Banet

    What about 5 Guys? Just as limited a menu, also upstairs, seems to be doing fine (though of course we don’t actually know).

  • Banet

    Owning your building is no guarantee against closure — just look at BookCourt.

  • Banet

    Oh yeah – I vaguely recall that bookshop!

    But who recalls Peter’s Ice Cream Parlor? God I miss that funky place. What a huge loss for the neighborhood. :-(

  • Andrew Porter

    Different situations. The BookCourt owners retired and refused to sell it and the bookstore to another possible owner—who eventually opened her own store.

  • Andrew Porter

    And Coup de Glace; the owner was murdered.

  • Banet

    I don’t think they refused to sell it to new owners… they just couldn’t find anyone who could pay $13 MILLION to buy a bookstore and it’s buildings.

    The owners of Damascus May prefer to retire and sell their building the same way. Or retire and rent the space and cash a big monthly check for doing a fraction of the work.

  • Banet

    Don’t know that place. But there was a Ben & Jerry’s on Atlantic for a few years as well.

  • Diesel

    Yeah but Hamburgers are always gonna outsell Tacos, and oh those fries!

  • Andrew Porter

    Coup de Glace was a unique, innovative ice cream place on Atlantic Avenue. They opened a branch on Henry Street in what is now the entrance to the St. George residence in the 1970s.

    During an attempted robbery, the owner was shot and killed there, and both stores closed.

    Back before Ben & Jerry, before artisanal ice cream became common, this was a tragedy for BH and everyone who knew the man.

  • KXrVrii1

    Two for the Pot is great to have locally.

    But if you want a broader selection, Meyers of Keswick in the Village is where Chip Shop sourced its bangers, which are the best I’ve had in the US. Also fresh pasties, savory pies, rashers and other freshly prepared British foods.

  • Andrew Porter

    Yes, I used to go there all the time, but then I lost 60 pounds, and for some reason don’t shop there any more.

    But I’m still hooked on…

  • Banet

    I’m not so sure about that. Have you seen the lines at Chipotle? 2x the traffic of the busiest Five Guys I’ve ever seen.

  • redlola

    The whole cat cafe concept is creepy. Waste of space

  • Teresa

    What do you have against rescuing animals, caring for them, and adopting them out to good homes?

  • Claude Scales

    Peter Myers is an old friend. Before he opened Myers of Keswick, he and the late Tony Heyes owned and ran the Bells of Hell, one of the greatest bars that ever was. More about it here: