It's not like there's any shortage of places to eat around the city on Christmas Day, but if your plan was to gorge yourself on pierogies and borscht, you're going to have to either make your own or wait, because Veselka will be closed on December 25th for the first time in more than 60 years. Sorry. Or, as they say in Ukrainian, жорсткі печиво.
Bedford + Bowery attributes the switch to the shifting demographics of the East Village. Where originally the Veselka staff was comprised of Ukrainians who celebrate Orthodox Christmas in early January, employees have become increasingly diversified and would now prefer to spend the holiday watching Training Day like everyone else. To be clear, which it was not from the site's headline, Veselka is not closing forever on Christmas. It's just one day. Breathe.
Still, owner Tom Birchard, like owners everywhere, would have preferred the restaurant stayed open.
“I really like to give people who don’t have anywhere to go, a place to go,” he told the news site. Unfortunately for him, too few were willing to work the holiday.
B+B has an informative write-up of the building's history, which you should read in full. Otherwise, Christmas orphans can find a decent list of alternate restaurants here.