Latest Montague Restaurant Rumblings

The scuttlebutt is that the Teresa’s site, which has been vacant since before the pandemic, will become a Korean restaurant. If so, I welcome it. My limited experiences of Korean cuisine to date have been pleasing. I’ve yet to try kimchi, which I suspect is somewhere in my wheelhouse of spicy and sour. If I do my wife, who has a very sensitive nose, may take exception. I saw lights on in the restaurant space on Friday, which indicates something may be going on, if not just a fire inspection.

Giulia has closed, but there are no signs of transition, like paper over windows or construction permits. Since the site is being taken over by a chain of Italian restaurants, perhaps all that is needed is a new sign and name on the awning.

Otherwise, the Montague restaurant scene is mixed. Our two Thai restaurants, Lantern and Pinto, along with the pan-Asian and cleverly named (if you’re old enough to remember Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In) Saketumi, and the Chinese Lichee Nut, are still going strong, but two Japanese restaurants, Ani Sushi and Nanatori, are no more, and the former Vegetarian Ginger space above Pinto has been vacant for years. The Custom House treats us to memories of the Auld Sod, and the reborn Grand Canyon keeps turning out its fine burgers, as does the Happy Days Diner. Grand Canyon also does Mexican, but its across the street rival, San Blas, appears to be defunct. The Good Food spot stays vacant. Nothing can kill Chipotle. Both of the former venues of Café Buon Gusto remain empty. Monty Q’s keeps on keeping on. The former Subway sandwich place remains empty. One ice cream place, the world’s first Haagen-Dazs shop, remains open, but the former Emack & Bolio’s space is vacant, although a French patisserie may be moving in there.

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  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Thanks for the recap. Much appreciated.

  • Andrew Porter

    Have you noticed the “For Rent” sign hanging over the entrance to the Haagen-Dazs store? It’s been there for a long time.

    The other week I saw a guy going into the former restaurant up the stairs from the Chinese restaurant, and I asked him what’s happening. Another estaurant, I was told, but no details.

    Since I’ve lived here that space has been a used book store, a home goods store—I bought a big wicker chair there decades ago—and other things.

  • Sandy Ikeda

    A patisserie “l’Appartement 4F” will be opening in the former Emack & Bolio space.

  • Claude Scales

    The “For Rent” sign applies to the space on the second floor next to Haagen-Dazs.

  • Claude Scales

    Thanks, Sandy. I added to the post that a patisserie “may” be opening in the Emack & Bolio space. I put in the qualifier because, though I earnestly hope it happens, I won’t consider it done until it opens.

  • Andrew Porter

    But I think the sign mentions a patio space outside the store.

  • Claude Scales

    I was wrong about “second floor” alone. It means the whole white fronted building between Haagen Dazs and Kiehl’s. That’s why the sign says “Office Space with Garden.” There was a real estate office there, but it left some time ago. There is probably a garden behind (I don’t know if there’s one behind Haagen Dazs); if my memory serves well, that was once the site of the Montague Street Saloon, which may well have had a backyard garden or patio. It’s confusing that the sign is physically attached to the building that houses Haagen Dazs, but I’m convinced it applies to the building next door.

  • Banet

    The sign on the Haagen Daz location likely applies to the pediatric dentist office BEHIND the ice cream parlor (ironic, I know). Brownstone Dentistry. It’s moving across the street to the old Irene Dinov space I think it is.

    Montague Street Saloon became a very large magazine/candy store. Then Fish’s Eddy. Then Housing Works. Then a real estate office (Brown Harris Stevens?). Now empty. It’s a shame. The saloon had great food – including an amazing burger on an English muffin and a killer fisherman’s stew.

  • Claude Scales

    Thanks! It never occurred to me that there was a pediatric dentist’s office behind Haagen Dazs. Ironic: go behind what decays your teeth to get them fixed.

  • Andrew Porter

    So where was Pic-a-Deli? I’m sure it was in the store that became Fish’s Eddy.

    I remember the jars of kosher and sour pickles on every table. Ate there a lot, back when I would eat out without having to consider what doing so would do to my digestion.

  • Arch Stanton

    The the Montague Saloon closed because the owner lost a libel suit against him. He has or had a net lease on the entire building, so he closed the saloon to avoid having to pay any compensation. Since he didn’t own the building it couldn’t be seized by the court.
    The lease may now be expired hence the “for rent” of the whole building.

  • Arch Stanton

    Picadeli preceded the Montague Saloon. Yes pickles on every table, they made excellent corned beef & pastrami sandwiches.

  • CassieVonMontague

    New York Times, February 2, 1986

    Retailers’ Rents on Montague St. Taking a Toll

    In the last six months, a dozen small stores have closed rather than pay large rent increases on Montague Street – a five-block stretch of small shops that have served generations of Brooklyn Heights residents and lent a small-town touch to the neighborhood.

    What is happening on Montague Street, merchants say, is the same thing that has occurred on Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, West Eighth Street in Greenwich Village, Seventh Avenue in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn and in numerous other neighborhoods around the city.

    Affluent, two-income families moved in and bought co-ops or condominiums or renovated the brownstones. Property values then shot up and the small shop owner could no longer pay the commercial rents that a newly affluent neighborhood commanded.

  • Andrew Porter

    Some things never change, I guess.

    At least the Covid zombies that have plagued other areas haven’t figured out how to shamble across the Brooklyn Bridge to get here.

  • Cranberry Beret

    LOL, the latent sexism and classism in that article is wild. Why criticize the city’s moneyed class when you can blame “two-income families” (i.e. working women) instead…

  • Andrew Porter

    In those days, “two-income families” often referred to the old, established gay couples who lived in BH. Single gay people tended to live in Greenwich Village.