At first, we thought Odessa Restaurant—the iconic Ukrainian diner in the East Village and one of the last in the neighborhood to stay open 24/7—was closing for good. We were then told that the shut down was going to be temporary and used for renovations. But now, the Avenue A destination is officially up for sale—on Craigslist, out of all places.
According to the listing, prospective buyers can snatch up the diner, which is supposedly in "turn-key conditions," for $400,000. Boasting 2,000-square-feet on the ground level and another 2,000-square-feet in the basement, the space "can easily be converted to other dining concepts with [a] full bar" and promises "significant growth and expansion opportunities" given its "ideal location." Not only is the kitchen fully equipped and "in excellent condition" but the basement features walk-in boxes and freezers. Basically, Odessa is ready to get back into business.
So, why, exactly, is it up for sale? According to Eater, after shutting it down last July due to the pandemic and contemplating the possibility of renovating while closed, the 100-seat restaurant's former owners decided instead to retire. Jason Pilku, the broker involved with the sale, also told the website that "several potential buyers" already reached out "looking to revive the storied diner."
Previously owned by Steve Helios and Mike Skulikidis (who still owns the building), Odessa Restaurant opened back in 1994 as a companion to Odessa Bar, which closed back in 2013.
A local favorite both during the day and at night, the eatery served the sort of Eastern European dishes that New Yorkers always revel in—from kielbasa to pierogi—alongside more traditional diner fare, like French toast and cheeseburgers.
Needless to say, we'll miss Odessa deeply. We expect to mourn its loss while munching on food at other East Village late-night destinations like Veselka and Punjabi Deli.