blue glass passes along the sad news that First Avenue Polish diner mainstay Polonia has closed.
Per the Polonia Facebook page:
I am sorry to announce that on this Christmas Eve Polonia will be closing its doors permanently. We would like to thank all of our amazing customers who have supported us this quarter of a century. As all good things, Polonia's time has come to an end. It is time for new ventures. Keep your ears open for NYC Pierogi Factory. And again... Thank You!
We're curious about the sounds of NYC Pierogi Factory. (Except for the "Factory" part of the name, which The Meatball Factory has ruined for us.)
Jozef and Renata Jurczyk opened Polonia in 1989. Per the Polonia website:
Jozef and Renata were both born in Poland and traveled to New York City in the early 1980’s in hopes of following The American Dream. Arriving in the US with very little money, they both worked dead end jobs until saving enough money to open their own business, a restaurant which would allow them to share their culture and memories with other New Yorkers living in this dominantly Ukrainian and Eastern European neighborhood — The East Village.
In November 2010, their son, 22 year-old Paul Jurczyk, officially took over the restaurant from his parents. He worked to update the menu, taking it from diner food to something more upscale. Jurczyk hired a chef, the 26-year-old Olaf Wozny, who previously worked at Il Bucco, to help update the menu.
We interviewed Paul here last year. Read those posts here.
A few of us grumbled about the changes. However, as Jeremiah Moss wrote on Dec. 6, 2010: "There's still a homey feeling here that has little to do with the hyper-gentrification that is washing over the neighborhood ... This place is not going to attract any douchebag crowds anytime soon, so don't fret."
One rumor is that the landlord was raising the rent.