Monday, April 29, 2013

Veselka Bowery has closed

After a 17-month run at Avalon Bowery Place, Veselka Bowery has closed, as we first reported yesterday morning. They closed at 4 yesterday, then held some "private event" in the space. (Food for Cheap Trick?)

The consensus among readers and others we talked with: Sad but not surprising. It never seemed all that full. There were attempts to get a bar crowd by showing Yankees games ... Veselka also launched a free pedicab service: "If you don't want to wait for a table at the original Veselka, we will give you a free Pedicab ride to our new restaurant Veselka Bowery."

And we recall an inauspicious opening in October 2011, where Veselka Bowery teamed up with Urban Daddy, who usually champions the likes of Superdive, for a $75 sneak preview tasting menu that includes a "five-course pierogi-and-vodka pairing." (Read the comments from that post.)

At the end of the day, people seemed to just want a diner. But that concept isn't going to work here, at a glass-and-steel factory like Avalon Bowery Place.

Anyway, the food press will likely have some exit interviews with the Veselka folks about what happened here. For now, the signs on the Veselka Bowery door thank people for their patronage, "Love and Light to you all!"

6 comments:

ShutUpHooker said...

"exit interviews will ask what happened here" what happened is that the owners thought they could spit in the faces of people by overcharging them for food they could get at their other location for a quarter less, and half at other locations...

I remember the original Veselka when it was basically a counter and a few tables and chairs, they even had a candy, baseball cards and newspapers. A Sunday morning would have been there and then across the street at Monkey Business for an inexpensive toy... the more the restaurant and the neighborhood grew; the more pretentious it has become...

josh.appelbaum said...

Felt like I took too long to give this place a shot. Me and my girlfriend usually get breakfast/brunch at the original diner once a weekend. Took a big group of friends there for a birthday brunch and we had a great time. Yes, the one thing the place had going for it was the ability to accommodate large parties.

Sad to see them close up shop. Responding to the previous commenter... of course the prices were higher. They had to pay Avalon rents. Not a good sign for established EV businesses looking to compete in shiny new commercial spaces. A failed experiment for sure but I'm puzzled at the vitriol for Veselka. They aren't the bad guys. No shame in wanting a business to grow. If you want a counter place B&H (shout out to Mike and Leo) or Stage are great options, but not for every occasion.

Anonymous said...

Shut Up Hooker you have the best name/avatar. Makes me laugh each and every time I see it.

Fipper said...

Didn't even know they were there...

Anonymous said...

I think they faced two issues: People who love the original Veselka want to eat at the original location and wouldn't dare set foot in a restaurant on the fancy new Bowery. And the upscale types who congregate on the fancy new Bowery don't want to eat in an old-school Polish joint even if it has been all dressed up and made a little fancier.

Anonymous said...

> Anon at April 30, 2013 at 11:14 AM

> don't want to eat in an old-school
> Polish joint

good analysis, except that veselka is a ukrainian place, not polish.

I-)