Photo by Steven
Former Odessa Watchers™ noted the arrival yesterday of brown paper on the front windows at the old diner at 119 Avenue A.
As you may know, Superiority Burger has signed a lease for the address here between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place, first reported by Grub Street last month.
Brooks Headley, the owner of the all-vegetarian quick-serve spot on Ninth Street, told Grub Street's Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld that he's not changing a thing:
"Odessa has always kinda been my dream space," he says. What's so dreamy about it is that besides being big, it comes completely furnished and ready to go. "It's not old and dusty and gross and needing upgrades," he says. "I find it completely beautiful — the soda counter, the satellite bar, the cash register station. I don't plan to change it at all."
So the paper on the windows is likely to provide a little privacy and keep the Former Odessa Watchers™from obsessing over every little detail. (Sample: That pen was not on the table yesterday. Also, we forgot to report that the Sanity Inspection Grade, an A, and assorted signage were removed from the front windows several weeks ago. Hopefully, all this is in the Diner Hall of Fame.)
Headley previously said that the move from Ninth Street will be several months down the road. (Given the current supply-chain issues, it may take longer for any new kitchen equipment to arrive.)
Once the new home of Superiority Burger is up and running, they'll first launch a dinner service before opening it up later for lunch and breakfast.
In July 2020, longtime manager Dennis Vassilatos said that Odessa was shutting down after a prolonged slump in business due to the pandemic. (Odessa Restaurant opened in this space in April 1995. The original Odessa, the longtime favorite that dated to the mid-1960s, closed next door in August 2013.)
However, closer to the last day, co-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. The closing turned out to be more than temporary.