14 May 2014

History in a Matchbook: Chuan Yuan

128 Montague Street is presently occupied by Vegetarian Ginger. It's one of those lovely upstair joints peculiar to this street, in which you walk up a demi-staircase to get to the restaurant, which is a half-story above the sidewalk.

But one upon a time, this corner building (at Henry Street) was the home of Chuan Yuan, which served "authentic Szechuan cuisine." Just your local Chinese restaurant, as many neighborhoods had back in the day. There was a cheese store on the lower level. Norman Mailer used to eat here when he lived in Brooklyn Heights. (A picture of the building back in the day is below, courtesy of Brooklyn Heights Blog.)

Chuan Yuan closed—along with a lot of other small businesses—in the mid-80s, when genius Montague landlords decided to jack up rents.


Mitch said...

I remember Chuan Yuan. It was there when my family moved to Brooklyn Heights in 1976. It was much better than your typical outside-of-chinatown chinese fare, and certainly better than the chinese places near where I live now on the Upper West Side.

IE said...

I ate there many times in the late 70's and early 80's with friends who lived in the neighborhood. Agree with Mich that is was better than typical neighborhood joints.