The history of Cobble Hill begins with its Dutch name, Cobleshill, referring to the hill that once stood at the intersection of Court Street and Atlantic. The hill was leveled during the Revolutionary War by the British in order to prevent George Washington from having a vantage point over Brooklyn Heights. The neighborhood was developed, beginning with the waterfront, until the plan for a street grid was implemented. The waterfront was developed for the working class, now industrial and inaccessible. Gradually, Cobble Hill became more developed, though it remains the second-oldest landmark district. Walking past handsome brownstones, townhouses, mom and pop restaurants and vintage shops, you feel transported back to the 19th century, especially at these four sites:
Cobble Hill Cinemas, once known as The Lido, Cobble Hill Theatre, Rex Theater, and Cobble Hill Twin Cinemas, has stood the test of time, as indicated by its various name changes. The theater, standing at 265 Court Street, originally opened in 1926. In order to maintain popularity through the decades, the theater changed its repertoire of films. At one point or another, the theater featured primarily “B” movies, science-fiction, horror and kung-fu movies, then independent and foreign films, and now a combination of those and first-run movies. Though the building has been renovated and ownership has changed numerous times, the building maintains a vintage - though cramped - appearance.
2. Clover Club
One of the 25 best cocktail bars in America according to GQ, the Clover Club at 210 Smith Street “got the old-timey part down,” with its exposed brick walls, 19th century mahogany bar, and recipes that date back to the 15th century. “Who enters here leaves care behind, leaves sorry behind, leaves betty envies and jealousies behind,” goes the motto of the original Clover Club. The original group was comprised of Philadelphia journalists who met once a month to eat, drink and talk at the Bellevue Hotel. This carefree attitude is surely what creates the lax, casual environment at this cocktail bar.
3. Sam’s Restaurant and Pizzeria
Surviving to this day since it was established in 1930, Sam’s Restaurant and Pizzeria at 238 Court Street is a vestige of old-world Brooklyn. Its interior is decorated with red-leather banquettes and faded photos along the walls, with constant pre-90s music playing in the background.
4. Little Luna
Located at 6 Cheever Place, Little Luna is a vintage antique shop tucked inside a brownstone. Its 1850s facade is painted dark green, decorated with a hand-cut wooden sign. The bay window and store interior is filled with all sorts of antique furniture, knickknacks and fashionable clothes.