During the American War of Independence, British soldiers removed the top of a hill named “Cobleshill” to prevent it from being used by American soldiers to look down upon their Brooklyn Heights headquarters. Since then, this hill has become the site of a small neighborhood comprising only 40 city blocks that has seen considerable growth and increased affluence throughout its history.
By 1950, area brownstones were being rejuvenated, and the neighborhood began its renaissance—leading to the revival of its (slightly updated) colonial moniker, Cobble Hill. In 1969, community activists successfully lobbied to create a historic district, effectively preserving what is now hailed as “one of the city’s finest collections of nineteenth-century houses.”
Today, on Cobble Hill’s main thoroughfares, Court and Smith Streets, generations-old family-run stores and businesses such as Italian meat markets and old-time barber shops sit side-by-side with trendy new stores, restaurants and cafes. Atlantic Avenue features one of New York City’s largest collections of Middle Eastern shops, many of which have stood for decades. North Smith Street is known as Brooklyn’s “Restaurant Row” due to the large number of eateries and watering holes that have opened in the late 1990s and early 2000s. A blossoming of specialized bars in the late 2000s has cemented Smith Street as an upscale weekend night destination.
Cobble Hill is conveniently close to Manhattan, with the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge within easy reach. The Atlantic Avenue - Pacific Street complex (the largest public transportation hub in Brooklyn) is nearby, bringing together 14 subway lines (the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, B, C, D, F, G, M, N, Q, and R trains), a dozen bus lines and the Long Island Rail Road. In addition, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and other major thoroughfares (Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, Eastern Parkway), provide a direct link to other parts of Brooklyn.
Cobble Hill is a small Brooklyn neighborhood full of huge tastes! Part of the acronym BoCoCa, which also includes Carroll Gardens and Boerum Hill, this part of the triangle brings its own unique tastes and character. Old school with a modern twist seems to be the theme here, so get ready for a throwback that somehow takes you right to today on your plate in Cobble Hill.
Cobble Hill offers an abundance of upscale bars and the occasional divey late-night spot (c’mon, we all love them every once in awhile). Whether you take the train from Manhattan to wander down Smith Street or visit from another Brooklyn neighborhood, get ready to eat and drink your way through one of Brooklyn's more refined ‘nabes.
Because the literati live in Cobble Hill, there are loads of cultural offerings to partake in, often designed to welcome aspiring (and broke) young talents. BookCourt hosts free workshops, readings and talks with authors and is a hub for the vibrant local writing community (including the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop). Cobble Hill Cinema makes up for its tiny theaters with (slightly) cheaper ticket prices and a ’90s throwback “don’t forget to silence your pagers” opening montage complete with lasers and anthropomorphic popcorn.
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