24 January 2007

A Good Sign: Montero's

Montero's is the bar on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn closest to the harbor. It's been there an age and still has the feel of a joint that filled up with rough and rowdy seamen whenever a ship came in. One imagines in the 1940s and '50s three fights broke out there a night. Now it's popular among morning drunks and certain trendoids and Yuppies as a "perfect dive bar." The bar, made of glass bricks, serves up nothing fancy. There's nautical stuff all over the walls, and a pool table in back. It remains a waterfront bar. As recently as the 1990s, it was still known to police as a place you don't want to find yourself in.

It was founded by a Spaniard named Joseph Montero in 1947 in the current location after some years across the street. He later retired to Spain and died. His widow, Pilar, and son, Pepe, still run it last I heard.

The signage, as anyone can see, is wonderfully untouched, completely of its time. I have no idea what they mean about "Grill" and "Wines"—no one I know of goes there for those things. The awning is a new addition, a nod to the changing demographic of the nabe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Was there yesterday around 4pm. Pilar, born in 1921, sat in the corner buying more than 3 rounds of shots for everyone in the bar. Her son Pepe now owns the bar. Awesome Lady! Great bar!