17 January 2012

Owner of Montero's Bar Dies

JVNY relates the sad new that Pilar Montero, the namesake (though not the original namesake) of Montero's Bar, the timeless waterfront watering hole, died on Jan. 14.  "On Tuesday, January 17th, there will be a one-day viewing at Raccuglia & Son Funeral Home, which is located at 323 Court Street at Sackett Street from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.," notes Montero's Facebook page. "Please feel free to pass this information on to others. We welcome you to share your memories of Pilar here, on our Facebook Page. We at Montero's thank you for the love and support." She was 89.

Pilar was born in Greenwich Village. Her father worked on a ferry that went from Manhattan to Brooklyn. She and her husband, Joseph, opened Montero's on Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue in 1947. Given its location, nearly at the foot at Atlantic, it naturally became a port in a storm for longshoremen and sailors. The bar has long had the nautical theme it retains today. After Joseph retired to Spain in the 1990s and passed away, Pilar stayed on and ran the bar. She could usually be seen sitting on her regular stool, at the end of the bar near the window, wearing a beret.

Her sister-in-law, Emma Sullivan (Joseph's sister; both the children of Ramon Montero), for many years ran the Long Island Restaurant, the ancient eatery just up the block which closed a few years ago and is constantly rumored as reopening under one management or another. (Construction has been underway the past couple months.) The two participated in a long-simmering feud of byzantine proportions (described in detail here) that caused them not to speak to each other for decades. I can't help but be curious if Sullivan will go to the funeral.

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