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Odessa Restaurant to close: Slowdown killed kielbasa mecca

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | That’s how the kielbasa crumbles.

One of the last of the East Village’s fabled Ukrainian diners is set to close this weekend.

It’s been reported that Odessa Restaurant, the 24-hour restaurant at 119 Avenue A, between E. Seventh St. and St. Mark’s Place, will shutter on Sun., July 19. It would join the likes of Kiev and Leshko’s on the pile of past pieorgi eateries that have also fallen by the wayside.

Takeout orders could not make up for all of the restaurant’s lost business during the pandemic. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)

Takeout simply didn’t cut it for Odessa during the coronavirus pandemic; the drop-off in business was too great.

At least there’s still Veselka, at 144 Second Ave., at E. Ninth St.

Odessa Restaurant has been around since 1995. The same owners also formerly operated Odessa Cafe and Bar next door, which opened in 1965 and shut down in 2013. St. Dymphna’s Irish bar occupies that space today.

Odessa will still be taking orders through Sunday. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)

At the restaurant on Tuesday, a waiter claimed there was an outside chance something could still be worked out to keep the place open. He said the restaurant’s co-owners also own the building, as well as the next-door building, but have different levels of interest in running the restaurant. He suggested there might possibly be a way the two partners could split up the ownership so that the legendary Eastern European eatery could continue.

But at this late date, it sounds unlikely.

This Odessa waiter handling takeout orders on Tuesday claimed there still could be a way to save the restaurant. But a waiter on the overnight shift later denied that. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)

Speaking early Wednesday morning, another waiter who picked up the phone at Odessa dashed cold water on the idea the place could somehow be saved. He said he couldn’t get into a big discussion about it because he was too busy.

“I’m all alone here, I have 16 or 17 orders right now,” he said.

Everything must go? It looks like there are still some jugs of Yago sangria left at Odessa. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)

Asked about the rumor Odessa might not close, he stated firmly, “No, sir, Sunday is the last day.”

For the meantime, Odessa is still taking orders at 212-253-1482


  1. Cynthia Chaffee Cynthia Chaffee July 18, 2020

    The notorious “Bernie Madoff of Landlords,” convicted felon Steve Croman, owns the two adjoining buildings at 115 and 117 Ave. A.
    Odessa is 119 Ave. A. I am sure Croman has his greedy hands on Odessa as well.

  2. Gojira Gojira July 15, 2020

    We also still have Ukrainian National Home on Second Avenue, and hopefully Little Poland will reopen soon.

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