Last night's news that Veselka had been denied a full liquor license and might be pulling out from their new location in the Avalon was depressing to us. But owner Tom Birchard doesn't seem to be too worried. “We’re going to appeal the decision to the full committee in two weeks,” he says. “We’ve been operating for 50 years and have never had a problem — not a noise violation, nothing. If anyone should get a license in this neighborhood, it should be us.”
We wished for it, we hoped for it, we reported on its coming, and now it's for serious: A new Veselka is definitely coming to the East Village. The home of the Official Hamburger of Grub Street has just inked the lease for 9 East 1st Street, owner Tom Birchard tells us. Veselka will be in the “second stage” of the Avalon Christie development, less than a block from Daniel Boulud’s new burger restaurant. Birchard doesn't think he'll open for another year, but then be prepared for an epic burger Kulturkampf.
Related:Bowery Burger Battle: Veselka Looks to Open Up Next Door to Daniel
Watch out, Daniel Boulud! Your downtown burger barn is about to get some stiff competition. Veselka, home to our all-time favorite hamburger in the East Village, is in negotiations to lease a 5,100-square-foot space in the very same building as Daniel, but on 1st Street. Owner Tom Birchard tells us, after the obligatory caution that nothing has been signed yet, “Veselka has been working pretty well for 53 years, so it’s going to be pretty much the same, Ukrainian and American comfort food— although maybe with a little tinkering on the menu. We’re thinking of calling it Veselka Bowery, and it will take about a year to build and open.” But what about going head to head with the inventor of the DB burger? Can the lush and lavish Veselka bacon cheeseburger, with its double layer of American cheese and thick, salty-sweet bacon, compete with foie gras and short-rib stuffing? “Bring it on,” Birchard says. We’re already geared up: Happily, in any burger battle, the true victors are always the customers.
Earlier: Veselka 2: Electric Boogaloo