Friday, June 4, 2021

You can own the shuttered Avenue A diner Odessa, now for sale on Craigslist

Odessa has been closed for nearly 11 months at 119 Avenue A between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

Last July, longtime manager Dennis Vassilatos said that Odessa, which dates to the 1960s, was shutting down after a prolonged slump in business due to the pandemic.

However, closer to the last dayco-owner Steve Helios told Gothamist that Odessa was only closing temporarily, that the space would be renovated. (The building's landlord is Odessa partner Mike Skulikidis.) Few people bought this story, though. 

And for these last 11 months, Odessa has sat frozen in disco-fries time, without any noticeable activity inside.

However, an EVG reader (thanks, Bobby!) noticed that the diner was recently put up for sale on Craigslist... 
Per the ad:
Odessa Diner for Sale — Large Diner/Restaurant is a neighborhood staple for 44 years. Bustling business is located on a very busy street across from Tompkins Square Park and draws crowds with 24/7 service. It comprises over 2,000 SF on the ground level and 2,000 SF in the basement. Most of the business is walk-in with a significant possibility for growth by creating a large take-out business. Great casual and quick dining options for a densely populated area. Significant growth & expansion opportunities. 

Alternatively, it can easily be converted to other dining concepts with full bar. The location is ideal. Seats 100 in the restaurant and 9 at the counter. Kitchen is fully equipped and in excellent condition. Full basement with walk-in boxes and freezers. Full liquor license. Full breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night menu. New lease will be given to buyer. The owner requires that buyers provide Proof of funds. First time offered. Great opportunity.
Asking price: $400,000.

Who's in?

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kinda annoyed about being lied to by the co-owner about the status of the restaurant...

SHENAN said...

Someone buy and maintain as it is! There have to be buyers who don’t want to see this die..

Anonymous said...

So you give them $400k and get to take over a place that looks like it’s from 1960s and hasn’t been used for over a year plus you get to pay monthly rent and it’s some ridiculous amount. For 400 grand you can design the most fancy place in the neighborhood. … but as they say there a fool born every minute.

Diana said...

If I was a rich person I'd just buy it and then pay people to run it? Aren't there any millionaires or billionaires in the neighborhood with a little imagination and money to spare?

Glenn said...

They own the building? Isn't that the only way they could sell it? If so, whoever buys it would not also be paying rent.

Anonymous said...

You'd have to pay a million dollars for a brand name like Odessa -

Things had been slowing down over there before the pandemic - their pancakes were too sweet - but they didn't provide enough of an experience for the transient crowd. Sadly, those of us who just want something to eat are being pushed out.

Henri Cervantes said...

THAT'S CHEAP!

NYCEV said...

Their pancakes were too sweet? To me this kind of statement is why most of the color has been drained out of the East Village by complainers who want everything to be perfect in their perception. Odessa was the best place to get whatever you wanted to eat, at any time of day, for a reasonable price, those in the service industry understand. If you've been serving drinks to the pancakes are too sweet crowd all night and want have a decent meal afterwards, Odessa was always open. This is a big loss to the neighborhood, let's hope it remains a diner and not some trendy restaraunt/cocktail bar for snobby transplants. RIP Odessa, you served me plenty of meals at obscene hours with speed and value.

Anonymous said...

You obviously have never owned or bought a business,

Anonymous said...

The business is for sale, not thd property. Whom ever buys it will be paying a monthly rent. And they could have sold the business even if they didn't own the building.

Anonymous said...

Only if you get the rights to franchise.

david said...

Glenn you do not need to own a build to sell the lease.

Anonymous said...

As a Ukrainian, growing up in the neighborhood I remember "old Odessa", Leshko's, Kiev. My Mom cooked and we did not go out to eat. As I grew up, it was nice having these places around. I wasn't crazy about the food at Odessa, except for the grilled pork chops, which I miss. However, Odessa promoted community. I hung out with a community of artists at Odessa. We had community meetings there. We spent hours there and very little money. It is so sad when neighborhood businesses close down. When places like this close down it feels like a part of out family is gone.

Anonymous said...

In!

Giovanni said...

I remember when EV Grieve reported that Odessa was closing, and yet Gothamist later reported that it wasn’t closing, that it would reopen after they renovated. The problem with the Gothamist story is they only talked to one of the owners, who were telling very different stories. Yet Gothamist still went ahead with this doozy:

"It's unclear whether the owners had planned to close at one point, or if this was all a big misunderstanding. In any case, it appears the reports of Odessa Restaurant's death — if not the demise of your youth, necessarily — have been greatly exaggerated."

If it’s unclear, then talk to the other owner before proclaiming they were not really closing. A big misunderstanding? You don’t close a business like this due to a misunderstanding. If they were renovating, both owners would know about it, along with the costs and timeline for reopening. There was no timeline because they was no cost estimate for a renovation that wasn’t happening, Their manager had already debunked the renovations story. One of the owners was retiring and going back to Greece.

Actually, it was clear to most observers that they were closing, and that the employees were being hung out to dry, thus the fiction that this was a just a renovation in order to avoid some uncomfortable questions from the former employees. Why they let it sit there for almost a year before dong anything is another mystery, but perhaps the next owner can change the name to Odessa Sweet Pancakes and bring back a part of the neighborhood that many of us miss. And maybe customers will buy something instead of sitting there all day sipping the same bottomless cup of coffee.

Anonymous said...

Best Thanksgiving meal in the nabe!

Anonymous said...

It’s over priced to say the least

PJ said...

Loved their Kielbasa and pierogi platter. That was a serious feed !

Anonymous said...

400k says no

JAMES said...

Easy prediction. Grayson Carter, Keith McNally or some other rich and famous scenester will buy it, put MILLIONS into it and reopen it with the same name and then be absolutely be sure to PRICE everyone local/working class out of using it as it becomes the nouveau place for scenesters and the trendsetting.
Mark my words. This is a GOLDMINE for those with deep pockets and connections.

John Penley said...

I was a loyal customer for their good comfort food for years. I became friends with the owners and waiters and when I came back to NY for visits they remembered me and my name. I wish them the best and hope they can now retire and go back to live in Greece. These nice people put up with riots outside and all kinds of changes over the years and they never lost their compassion for the people who ate there. PS We had a special connection because I served in Greece with the USN and worked with the Greek Air Force for two and a half years during some dangerous and crazy times there.

Anonymous said...

No! I said More Diners!

XTC said...

So according to Eater both owners planned to renovate and reopen but ultimately decided to retire.

The realtor handling the sale said there are already multiple offers to buy Odessa and continue the business.

Guess we'll have to wait and see how it shakes out.

Billsville said...

I hope the former owners of Neptune Diner take this over. Their food and service were great, and we need their comfort food and pierogis more than ever now.

Loweastsidechick said...

It's not priced to sell this isn't turn key they've had a leak in their ceiling over 10 yrs! This requires major build out. 250k at best!

Anonymous said...

This is no Veselka. Location is average. Not a corner like very popular Yuka Bar near by. It still might get some spill over business from Yuka if it becomes some trendy place. Odessa in current state is far from trendy. There still might be a place for Odessa if it modernizes and offers something new. Diner as business concept In general peaked a long time ago.
Neighborhood is full of millennials and generation Z’s. Now days.

Anonymous said...

Lots of people with deep pockets out there. It will be a pet project for them. If it fails they’ll just write it all off or they’ll probably operate at a “loss” like most small businesses. Very few places can survive long term unless they own the building.

Anonymous said...

Grieve, please run a contest where 1,000 readers kick in $400 each and own it as a workers co-op. Please.