Friday, July 13, 2012

The best East Village bar that no one goes to

[Photo from Tuesday night by Shawn Chittle]

The Odessa Cafe and Bar at 117 Avenue A. Always a little surprised why more people don't drink here. Or not. It's exactly the kind of bar that people tell me they wish we had more of around here in the era of artisanal cocktails and fratty chicken-wing-fueled woo.

19 comments:

Riz said...

I did go there a few times. Shoddy service - even though there were very few patrons, I had to wait for a while for, well, everything! If they want to attract customers, I'd recommend they start with re-training their staff.

Gudrun said...

The Odessa Bar is great. Thanks for the reminder.

aveaisessex said...

Completely agree. And I'm part of the problem. I know it's good, but I'm always swallowed by the Sophies/Coal/International triad.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for the word 'woo'. It made my day.

Anonymous said...

Well, certainly don't suggest to people that they start going there! It'll be ruined in no time flat! Listen, nobody go there!

Marty Wombacher said...

I love the Odessa bar!

Anonymous said...

another problem
it has overwhelming smell of diner food
fried chicken cutlet and hamburgers

liquor and diner food dont' really mix

Janos said...

I love this bar. I'll be at the corner booth tonight.

Matt said...

I, too, heart Odessa and have found the service more superlative than the most excellent of superlatives. Also, the ambience. Why don't some of our local bloggers pick and promote a weekly "Have a snort at Odessa" night? Get the commenters lubricated and chatting in the meatspace? Patronize a great local business that's presumably facing some pressures to pack it in?

Shawn Chittle said...

It always feels like after hours at Odessa. And its always 1978.

That bartender pictured is one of THE most colorful characters around. He's got the best stories but doesn't talk too much. Always quick with a drink. Friendly, but not too friendly. Just perfect.

Want private dining in Manhattan without having to rent the whole place? You can at Odessa.

I took a date here on Valentine's Day last February. 8pm. The busiest dining night of the year in NYC.

WE WERE THE ONLY TWO PEOPLE IN THERE! Talk about romantic. It doesn't get any better than that!

If you are sick of crowds, long lines, crappy tacky retro decor, and want the REAL THING Odessa is where you want to be.

Spread the word, and we'll save you a seat.

Anonymous said...

this bar would be great if it were in some guy's basement in queens in the mid 80s.

Anonymous said...

if only they allowed dogs...

Goggla said...

I love Odessa and, as Shawn said, the bartender pictured is a real treasure. It's a quiet atmosphere if you want it to be, or you can have fun conversation with any of the customers and staff. I don't get why it's not more popular, but I'm also kind of glad it isn't because that means there's always an open stool just for me.

glamma said...

One of the best treasures in the EV and unfortunately from what i understand, a threatened one now with the sale of the building making the future uncertain?

I think i'm gonna have my birthday party there.

this place is so beyond legit. simply awesome.

now if only they would play one of those "easy listening" from the 70s compilations on repeat to fully complete the time machine effect.

Fipper said...

Let's all go to Odessa tonight!

Morgan Tsvangirai said...

I went tonight. My girlfriend wanted to go to The Smith, but the wait was too long, so I suggested Odessa.

When I got in and sat down in one of those booths I told her "damn I love the ambiance of a place like this so much more than a place like The Smith."

I don't go too often because I've gotta be really hungry to eat there. The combo platter for $10 is a great value.

There was some weird old 70s movie on the TV. Seemed pretty appropriate.

Anonymous said...

I have been meaning to go for a while, i'm definitely going now!

Uncle Waltie said...

If I were a drinking man, I would drink at Odessa. But since I'm a tea-totaler, I only drink at the International Bar...early and often.

Anonymous said...

The bartenders generally suck. Newbies with the owner breathing down their necks.
And no more buffalo steak.