Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The VERY Big New Veselka

For us East Village old timers the Veselka has always been a Ukranian greasy spoon that served awesome Borscht, tasty Pirogi, was cheap, fun, filling and always open.
It's corner location on Second Avenue was perfect with its Old World, East Europe meets the East Village feel.  In the first 25 years of being acquainted with this venerable food institution it has expanded once.  The little back room that you used to reach only through a back hallway by the bathrooms got torn down and the restaurant became a large, open space with a high ceiling.  Even with the renovation the space still retained it's character and charm...
For months now I have been walking by the Avalon Apartments on 2nd Street between Second Avenue and the Bowery.  In the window on one of the huge store front spaces (which has never been occupied) is a Veselka sign.
The other day for the first time all the paper came off the windows and low and behold a mega, box store huge sized brand spanking new Veselka!  It looks like a catering hall for weddings.  I'm sure with people in the seats eating steaming bowls of barley soup it will look warmer....maybe?
This last photo is my attempt to show you the soul-less facade of this suburban new apartment complex and the vastness of the space that is the new Veselka.  At this writing the Veslka's website isn't working (though I have linked to it assuming it's just a temporary glitch).

My fingers are crossed they aren't closing down the original space, that would be a real mistake, not to mention the loss of an East Village institution, even though said institution is still up and running, well, look at the pictures...it's just not the same.

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