Owner of Fort Greene’s Margot to take over Happy Days Diner space on Montague Street

happy days diner
A new owner is taking over the space of the old Happy Days Diner on Montague Street.
Photo by Susan De Vries

The Brooklyn Heights space that housed Happy Days Diner for decades looks set to get a new lease on life, with the owner behind Fort Greene’s Margot applying for a liquor license for the venue.

While the name of the venue is yet to be decided, it will be a “classic American diner” and not “particularly upscale or expensive,” co-owner Halley Chambers told Brownstoner. “It is meant to be a neighborhood and community oriented dining space.”

Co-owner Kip Green and investor Ben Gross presented an application for a wine, beer, and cider license for 148 Montague Street under the name Lady Wortley LLC to a Brooklyn Community Board 2 committee on December 6. The committee unanimously supported the application, which will go before the full board on Wednesday.

happy days diner
The new restaurant will have 46 seats and 12 bar seats, and is likely to be a little more upscale than the Happy Days Diner. Photo by Susan De Vries

The new venue will be open daily from 8 a.m. until midnight and will have 46 seats and 12 bar seats, employ 25 people, will not have any outdoor dining or host private events, and will be able to cater to both gluten- and dairy-free diners, according to the application.

The legal entity behind the diner is Three Top Hospitality, which is co-owned by partners Chambers and Green. Gross and other Brooklyn Heights locals are some of the investors in the diner. The partners intend to apply for a “full liquor license after we receive our temporary beer and wine license,” said Chambers.

Margot, which opened in May, is Three Top Hospitality’s first restaurant. The seasonally changing French-influenced menu includes dishes such as brussels sprouts with tahini and grapes, and prices go up to $45 for steak.

Green has hosted wine-focused pop-ups and was general manager at June in Cobble Hill. Chambers has been a consultant in a number of industries, including restaurants. The partners plan to open natural wine bar Heaven & Earth in Greenpoint next month, Chambers confirmed.

empty interior of happy days diner
The diner space has been empty since the fall of 2022. Photo by Susan De Vries

As for Happy Days Diner, which took a lease for the space at 148 Montague Street in 2000, the end came in November 2022. The diner closed for the final time in November after being evicted for owing more than $632,801, according to court filings. Its own old liquor license notification is still attached to the window. In its early years, the diner was open 24 hours a day serving late-night party-goers and blurry-eyed commuters alike. In 2021, Council Member Lincoln Restler fondly recalled memories of frequenting the diner in the early hours after big nights out, Curbed reported.

Since the restaurant’s closure, the space has been vacant.

Update 12/19/23, 10:01 a.m.: This story has been updated with comment from Halley Chambers.

This story first appeared on Brooklyn Paper’s sister site Brownstoner