Making way for condos on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights
By Eli MacKinnon
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Eamonn’s — a long-standing and long-loved Irish pub at 174 Montague St. — will close on June 17.
Bartenders started spreading the news to regulars on Thursday, and the establishment (previously the site of Eamonn Doran, and before that Peter Hilary's) confirmed the closing to the Brooklyn Eagle on Friday.
The bar and restaurant is not cutting off its customers voluntarily.
According to Heloise Traynor, general manager of Eamonn’s, landlord Robar Inc. sold the building and its air rights to a developer that plans to turn it into condos. Eamonn’s shares the two-story building at 172-174 Montague St. with a Hallmark store.
“It’s the end of an era. We’re very sad for our whole extended family here,” Traynor told the Eagle. “It’s just a shame all the mom-and-pop shops are getting pushed out. It’s impossible to keep up with these rents, absolutely impossible; whoever they get in here is gonna be a chain store.”
Bob Nestor, a longtime Eamonn’s regular who works for the nearby Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, voiced his solidarity from down the bar. “There’s gonna be another crash with this stuff. I’m not a real estate man but I think this is outrageous — the prices and everything.”
Pourers and patrons alike were still in shock as the Memorial Day weekend got underway.
Mary Inwood, who has lived in the Heights for 40 years, says she has long been going to Eamonn’s every Sunday after church and isn’t sure how she’ll replace it.
“We don’t need any more condos,” she said. “This is a really traditional, wonderful Brooklyn spot and it will be a serious loss.”
Eamonn’s, which is a stone’s throw from the Kings County Supreme Court and is a popular lunch spot for judges and lawyers, celebrated its 17th and final anniversary this past St. Patrick’s Day.
Before his tragic death in 2008 in a Manhattan offshoot of Eamonn’s, beloved barman Seamus O’Toole co-owned the Heights tavern. Since his death, which resulted from a fall down a staircase, the pub has been co-owned by his widow, Catherine O’Toole, and Ms. Traynor's husband, Terry.
A bartender at Eamonn's told the Eagle that there had been no decision yet on whether the bar would try to reopen at another Brooklyn location.
When asked where he'd take his lunch break once Eamonn's is gone, Nestor said maybe he'd move around the corner to O'Keefe's on Court Street, which will soon be the neighborhood's last Irish pub.
John Sheeran, the owner of O'Keefe's, acknowledges that Eamonn's closing will likely be good for business, but he still isn't happy to see them go.
"I've known those guys for a long time and it's pretty sad. Years ago there were 20 bars on Montague Street and one by one they keep on closing because they can't keep up with the rent," he said. "They keep opening up real estate offices."
"Fortunately we own our space so we're gonna be here for a while."