The Veselka outpost at First Park is gone, but fans of Ukrainian soul food don't need to trudge up Second Avenue for their pierogi fix anymore. After three years in development, Veselka Bowery opens its doors to the public in the Avalon Bowery for the first time tonight at 5 p.m. Tonight and tomorrow it will be serving till midnight, with longer hours (eventually 24/7) and delivery coming as the restaurant gets its sealegs.
The new space is not too dissimilar to the original—no trendy Edison bulbs here—but this one has a long communal table in addition to regular tables. Especially compared to the neighboring DBGB, Veselka Bowery is downright light and airy.
As for the menu, they are still finalizing the details and prices (really waiting till the last minute!), but the we're told it stays true to the spirit of the original with lots of new Ukrainian and Eastern European dishes mixed in with the classics. So yes: pierogies, they've got a few.
The big thing at the new Veselka though is the booze. VB boasts a full service bar whose main emphasis is vodka. They've got 75 types available, with a vodka list and vodka flights available. You can order 1.5 ounce pours for yourself, of 7 ounce carafes for a table. Beverage prices start around $9 and move up into the high teens/low twenties if you order the fancier Scotches or vodkas.
Part of us still wishes some enterprising soul would just bring back the late, great, Kiev (which, jeez, closed over a decade ago) but since that is clearly never going to happen a new Veselka will just have to do. Bring on the borscht!
9 East 1st Street // 212-387-7000