Odessa Restaurant on Avenue A Closes this Week After 25 Years

Posted on: July 13th, 2020 at 4:50 am by

Photo: Apple Maps

Odessa Restaurant, long a bastion of late night cheap eats and great conversation, is set to close for good later this week. Word is circulating on social media that the 24-hour Ukrainian diner ends its Alphabet City tenure on Sunday (July 19).

Here it stood for twenty-seven years.

Staff is starting to tell customers about the plans.

The original half of the Odessa empire at 117 Avenue A had closed back in 2013, the victim of an exorbitant rent hike. This regulars haunt served the community for forty-eight years after opening in 1965. The “new” diner half at 119 Avenue A, which debuted in April 1995, survived the 2013 closure next door.

But not coronavirus; now, the bell tolls. The first hint of struggle was back in April, at the outset of the mandatory lockdown. Longtime manager Dennis Vassilatos told EV Grieve at the time that: “Times are difficult, and uncertainty is part of our lives. People are afraid. I hope everything works out and we are all healthy,”

Odessa was once part of a cadre of likeminded eateries in the East Village that has since disappeared, including Leshkos and the Kiev.

At least there’s still Veselka…

Recent Stories

Missed Paradise: Street Art Gets Buffed as Billboard Rises on Prince Street

Those anti-looting plywood barriers are coming down as stores are finally reopening. For street artists, though, it’s a mad scramble to reclaim the work they created to beautify the blight. Many artists continue to petition management of buildings, store owners, or simply salvaging them from the trash. Others are still producing work on the storefronts that […]

Velvette Brew Espresso Bar Opens on Stanton Street

Over at 85 Stanton Street, two years of vacancy just concluded. A new espresso bar is now on the grounds. As previously reported, this spot is the maiden Manhattan location for the Brooklyn-based Velvette Brew. (We’re told that the Prospect Park coffee shop closed in favor of the Lower East Side.) The former boutique is […]

Knife-Wielding Bike Thief Apprehended by Customers at Cluck’s Chicken on Essex Street

A would-be bike thief was apprehended at Cluck’s Chicken on Essex Street, then pulled a knife, police said. Last Monday (July 27), the victim parked his electric bike near the entrance and walked to the rear. Soon after, at roughly 2:45pm, there was a commotion as the suspect attempted to make away with the $1,500 […]

Rosario’s Pizza will Look for a New LES Location

Losing Rosario’s Pizza, much like its old neighbor Bereket, is the elimination of yet another connection to the old Lower East Side. The pizza joint held down the northwest corner of Orchard and Stanton Streets for more than twenty years, and spent the preceding decades just around the corner. However, the retirement of manager/owner Sal […]

Captain and Owners Arrested for Liberty Belle Booze Cruise off Pier 36

The captain and owners of a popular Manhattan party boat were arrested for defying coronavirus social distancing mandates and embarking on a crowded cruise, authorities said Sunday. Shortly after 8:00pm Saturday night, the Liberty Belle, a four-story river boat with a capacity of 600 people, left Pier 36 (Basketball City) for a booze cruise. More […]