25 February 2008

First the Dodgers Leave, Now This


And you wake up, you try to face the world with a cheerful mood, you browse through the news of the day—and you find another great chunk of New York is chucked into the dustbin.

Just yesterday, I was bidding farewell to Cafe La Fortuna on the Upper West Side. This morning, the Brooklyn Eagle tells me Armando's, an anchor of Brooklyn Heights' Montague Street will be closing March 16 after 72 ever-lovin', blue-eyed years.

We can't blame the landlord this time, because the restaurant owner is the landlord. Peter Byros, who's owned the one-time Sinatra haunt for the last 27 years, has decided to redevelop the property, and has already rented out the space to another eatery. This place isn't just some old Italian joint. It's a real slice of Brooklyn history. The Dodgers used to eat there after the game. Norman Mailer ate there. Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller reportedly dined there when Miller lived in Brooklyn Heights. (Monroe is commemorated on the walls with several photos and one not-altogether cheesy oil painting.)

A waiter said the place will become a sandwich shop, serving panini and such, with no bar.

Almost as sad as losing the restaurant is losing the great neon sign—the last on the strip and one of the best in the city, with its mix of blue, red and green light, slightly Deco lettering and illustration of a lobster.

2 comments:

angela said...

who is getting the sign? Where is it going?

Brooks of Sheffield said...

I don't know, Angela. I went by to ask, but the owner was not around.