Man-Size (man_size) wrote,

RIP Pilar Montero

When I first moved to Brooklyn, 15-years ago, Zach Chassler insisted on taking me to this "really cool, remote bar by the waterfront" on Atlantic Avenue. It was beautiful, old, decorated with black & white pictures of the past, model ships, nautical paraphernalia, wooden phone-booths [the kind Clark Kent used to dress into Superman], a pool table, parrot, jukebox, and stories. So many stories. The first time I went the place was empty. We talked to a nice female bartender. Besides the ancient look and feel, I wondered why Zach thought Montero's was so cool? Then it happened. A man stumbled in from the Emergency Room across the street and sat at the first stool by the bar. His hands and head were wrapped in bandages. He looked like The Unknown Soldier. The bartender excused herself mid-sentence from our discussion, pulled out a full bottle of bourbon and a shot glass, placed it in front of The Unknown Soldier and walked back over to us to finish her sentence. Zach looked at me, "THAT'S why this bar is fresh." I practically lived in Montero's on a Friday night those first few years in Brooklyn. So many stories. I vowed to never go back the night I woke up there with a glass of whiskey in my hand. My first black out? Many years went by before I stepped into the premises again. Some things had changed to keep business going [Karaoke?] but some of the mainstays were still there and I was greeted with a warm welcome and hug as if I never left.

Little known fact: years ago, I named Billy Dogma's mother, "Pilar," after Pilar Montero, in honor of such a salt-of-the-earth woman and a soulful establishment. RIP Pilar.

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