Montero’s Bar, J. G. Melon & Radegast Hall Prints For Sale
Montero’s Bar & Grill of Brooklyn Heights will be featured in my upcoming book Great Good Places of New York, along with J. G. Melon’s (Upper East Side) and Radegast Hall (Williamsburg, Brooklyn). I loved drawing these three almost as much as I love visiting them. These are special places. You should check them out, whether you live in New York now, or will be here for the first time next month. And now they’re available as 16″ by 20″ color giclée prints, signed, numbered, and shipped in sturdy flat mailers at no extra charge. See and order them (and more favorite bar prints of New York, New Orleans and San Francisco) here.
Montero’s is a 70-year-old waterfront bar just a couple blocks from Brooklyn’s old shipping district, where dockworkers, merchant marines, sailors and hookers used to ply their trades. Thousands of them used to unironically hang out in Montero’s, which is now like a maritime museum inside, loaded to the ceiling with gifted nautical curiosities, model ships, original artwork, portholes, life preservers, old photos, and a plumb level pool table in back. You like stories? Montero’s has some doozies. Ask the bartender/resident historian Allan about the great cook-off between the Argentines and the Greeks to determine whose ship had the better cook. (They hauled the kitchen equipment from their ships to Montero’s sidewalk where they roasted a whole steer, several lambs and 200 pounds of sardines.) Ask Pepe Montero about the time circa 1960 the heavily tattooed King Frederick IX of Denmark popped in for a drink. (He was told by his old merchant marine buddies that Montero’s was their favorite bar in Brooklyn.) Go to Montero’s. Get an ice cold bottle of PBR to go with your stories. Bottles, not the usual crummy cans. (They haul cases and cases of them up from the basement with the old working dumbwaiter, another Montero’s curiosity.)
J. G. Melon! Since 1972, a stalwart of the Upper East Side, cathedral of burgers, haunt of the rich and famous (Jackie O., Grace Kelly, Michael Bloomberg, etc.), and a favorite of mine, too, Melon’s holds down the corner of 74th Street and 3rd Avenue. So when you’re jonesing for an unfancy joint after museum-hopping in the tony UES, park it right here, order a cold draft and a hot cheeseburger, feed that old jukebox and brace for ecstasy. Trust me, even if it’s busy. Why, Princess Grace of Monaco herself waited for a table at Melon’s, perched upon the jukebox like a throne, sipping a Heineken. And now there’s a Melon located in the heart of the West Village, too, at MacDougal and Bleecker. Same sublime burger, same iconic green checkered tablecloths, and (believe it or not) the same model jukebox with the same selection of CDs as the original Melon’s up north.
When you need a break from the madness of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, step away from Bedford Avenue and over to Radegast Hall, a gem on the corner of Third and Berry. Order a gigantic, baked-to-order, buttery pretzel. Avail yourself of the many splendors of the mustard bar. Get a sizzling hot sausage, wurst or burger from the grill, served with steaming sauerkraut and fries. Ask the ladies in the darling red frauleindressen for a liter of sudsy German beer. Tuck into your chow, rest your weary dogs, order another liter and thank me later. With luck, you might even catch some of New York’s best hot jazz or some dynamite Django-esque guitar.
Get Your Signed and Numbered Prints of Montero’s Bar, J. G. Melon, Radegast & Other Great Good Art in My Shop
These are just three of 50 bars I’ll be drawing and writing up for the book Great Good Places of New York: 50 Favorite Joints from the Five Boroughs (Rizzoli, 2018). You can buy all the prints here, as well as the original inking. Check it out!