Monday, July 13, 2020
[Updated] This is the last week for Odessa on Avenue A
Gothamist now reports that the owners will just be closing for renovations. Longtime manager Dennis Vassilatos told Stacie Joy last Sunday that they were closing for good, not remodeling. Gothamist also got confirmation of the closure on Sunday.
This is the last week for Odessa Restaurant, 119 Avenue A between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.
EVG correspondent Stacie Joy spoke yesterday with longtime manager Dennis Vassilatos, who started at the diner in 1990 when it was next door. He confirmed that Odessa was closing after service on Sunday, July 19.
He says that Odessa is shutting down solely due to the significant loss of business during the COVID-19 crisis. (Odessa reopened for takeout and delivery in early April.)
Mike Skulikidis has been an Odessa co-owner since 1980 (along with Steve Helios). Skulikidis is also the landlord of the building, so there isn't an issue with a rent increase. And about the rumors that Odessa would be closed for remodeling: The place is shutting down for good, not reopening.
Vassilatos had been planning to retire to his native Greece in the months ahead... now he says he'll be doing it sooner than anticipated. While he's not a fan of long goodbyes, he knows that regulars are going to be understandably upset by the closing news.
As one reader said to us yesterday: "Odessa was supposed to be there forever."
Here are a few scenes from yesterday...
Odessa Restaurant opened in this space in April 1995. The original Odessa, which dated to the mid-1960s, closed next door in August 2013
Previously on EV Grieve:
• A Visit to Odessa Restaurant
• Last call for the Odessa Cafe and Bar tonight