Montero’s might be replaced by ‘the next South Street Seaport’

Save Montero's. Photo by Catherine Wolinski
Save Montero’s. Photo by Catherine Wolinski

An important thing to remember when you live in New York City (anywhere really, but especially in New York today) is that anything you love will eventually be replaced by condos. This is an immutable law, only superseded by the fact that the angry ocean will swallow up every last trace of you and your accomplishments. That being said, it’s doesn’t make it any easier to deal with the news that the owners of Montero’s are weighing selling the bar and that someone is talking about the stretch of Atlantic it’s on potentially being “the next South Street Seaport” like that’s a good thing.

Now, far be it from us to get up on our high horse and tell owner Pepe Montero to resist a buyout offer at all costs. Especially when, as the Times reports, that Montero and his neighbors will only sell their properties along Atlantic Avenue stretching from the bar to the BQE for $56 million, or $7 million per property. That’s a lot of money to pass up, although the good news is at the moment no one has bit. It’s also tough to fight your neighbors if they’re all hot to sell and you want to be stubborn. We get that.

What we don’t get, or do but refuse to accept in a mature fashion, is real estate mogul Stuart Venner gleefully telling the Times that the block “could be the next South Street Seaport.” Why a bar with cheap drinks and a wonderful karaoke night and a sense of community would have to be swallowed up by some glorified suburban mall that’s just meant to appeal to tourists is completely beyond us. We have enough trouble with those people as it is, so the thought of wonderful, divey Montero’s being replaced by a 6-story combination Papa John’s/Applebee’s  manages to bring on dread that’s much deeper than your usual Monday realization that everything is meaningless. So our advice, beyond lobbying Mayor Tall to aggressively move to bring shipping jobs back to the waterfront which would then bring more longshoremen and sailors to Montero’s and get them more money, is to just enjoy the bar while you can.

Actually, enjoying it, while fun, seems useless in the face of the impending development, so definitely spend your time building a coalition of “young and tech-savvy New Yorkers along with elements of the city’s minority community,” to bother the mayor to somehow save Montero’s, because that’s apparently how Uber beat him.

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