Wednesday, July 08, 2009

After Many Years On Court Street, India House Closes Its Doors


"Are you closing your restaurant?" I asked the owner of the India House restaurant at 139 Court Street back in February, when I saw that his place of business was being advertised by Smith Hanten Real Estate. He seemed bemused and assured me that, no, he was not going anywhere. But he added:
" The owner of the building has tried to rent it out for a long time. I don't have a lease anymore. He wants too much money."

Well, obviously, something happened, because India House is closed now. It has been at that location for as long as I have lived in the neighborhood (25 years.) I am kind of sorry to see it gone, though I have to admit that I only set foot into the restaurant once.

The storefront is for rent for $7,000.

On Smith Hanten's Web site

Court St in Cobble Hill

- Very busy intersection
- Across the street from a new "Trader Joe's"
- Three (3) blocks to Express trains @ Boro Hall
- Basement Included
- Sorry - no food or Liquor allowed

Related reading:

Space Occupied By Indi(a) House For Rent, But Restaurant Owner Not Worried

For Home Page, click Pardon Me For Asking


Plow to Plate said...

What a drag. I loved going here for their tasty rice with shrimp curry. They were always so nice. This was one of my favorite resturants.

Walter Pater said...

Thanks be to god! I once sat down in there at 6 pm Friday night, no one else was there, the cook and waiter were smoking in the dining room, nobody brought us any menus for at least 5 minutes and we left. 2 months later they were closed for a stint by the health department. I felt as if I had dodged a gastro-intestinal bullet. It was dirty, disgusting and I feel bad for anyone if this was one of your favorite restaurants. Granted, there are not many really good Indian restaurants around, but you could do way better than this place. I was very tempted on many an occasion to dissuade potential customers who were looking at the menu on the street.

Anonymous said...


We ate there with you in the 80's.


Kelly said...

Hi A and A,
Yes, I remember it well.
I thought of you yesterday, when I wrote the post.
Had you been back there lately?

bigmissfrenchie said...

I only ate there once, back in '96 when the restaurant choices were limited. Frankly, I have to agreee with Walter that it was kind of gross.

Plow to Plate said...

ok, ok, it was not the happiest of atmospheres, the paintings were always crooked, the carpeting was gross. But I never got sick eating here, and I have gotten sick eating at fancier places. All I ever ate was their shrimp curry - I am a shrimp-o-holic and I like spicy. Where else, now?

natty said...

Margaret you are better off eating from a dumpster!!If you didnt get sick from this place you have a tough stomach

djMush1 said...

I lived in Red Hook for many years, and this was one of my favorite spots. All you haters just don't get it. This is not "nouveau riche" cuisine. This is/was an old school north-Indian style restuarant of the best kind. Stepping inside was like entering a time warp to a kinder, gentler, and older time. Their version of roti was out of this world! My favorite was the plain (chana). They put the chana inside the roti, folded it over in 1/2, and then fried the whole thing. They served it with a green spicy cilantro sauce on the side. This is one of the most delicious dishes I have ever had at any restuarant, and I have eaten at over 2/3 - 3/4 of Brooklyn's roti restaurants. They also made a fish curry of curried king fish in a dark brown sauce that was out of this world. Their basmati rice was yellow and cooked w/ saffron and was flavorful and delicious. The Village Voice has also raved over this restaurant, and rightly so. They used to also have another identical branch on 7th Ave. in Park Slope, but if this one closed, that one MUST have gone by the wayside. This is so uncool. I am not the greatest cook, and I am now going to have to try and recreate these dishes. If anyone has the recipes or ideas, please holla @

: (

mtrager said...

My wife and I were there at least once every two months. We live in Queens and it was generally topped off our Brooklyn Heights experience whether we saw a movie on Court Street, Cobble Hill or whether we walked on the Promenade
Besides the great Egg Biryani dish, the owners treated us like family when we entered the restaurant. I remember going there as a tribute to Benazir Bhutto when she was murdered. I always thought that if I somehow found myself in Downtown Karachi, this is what a typical Pakastani restaurant would resemble. And I remember going there when my children were in town.We loved the eclectic crowd that the restaurant seemed to attract. Just like the loss of the Dodgers, a piece of Brooklyn will be permanently lost. Good bye old friend!

mtrager said...

After eating in a busy, but poor Indian Restaurant in Manhattan, last evening, I can tell you that India House is missed more than ever.
My wife and I would trek into Brooklyn Heights from our home in Queens several times a year. We would go to movies at either the Court Street or the Cobble Hill Cinema and top it off with a visit to India House. We enjoyed dining with an eclectic, non yuppie crowd, a literal cast of characters. The owners were like family. They were always glad to see us and would go out of their way to speak with us. My favorite dish there was the egg biryani, which I have not seen on any other Indian Restaurant menu.
I remember visiting the restaurant as a sort of a tribute to the memory of Benazir Bhutto soon after her tragic murder. In fact we were going to eat there last Mother's Day as a treat to my wife. Needless to say we were devastated when we learned of its closing. We were forced to eat in the Bedouin Tent, a Jordanian Restaurant on Atlantic Avenue.
Just like the demise of Ratners on the Lower East Side, and the closing of the Rascal House in Miami Beach, a small but significant icon has left us for good. Good bye India House and a sincere thank you for the good times my wife and I had at your warm and inviting restaurant. As Bob Hope would have sung, "Thanks for the Memories."