Slava, a new Ukrainian restaurant, and bar, appears to be opening tomorrow, Thursday, November 3, at 77 West Houston Street, near West Broadway, according to its Instagram. The new Eastern European spot apparently comes from the team behind Pineapple Club, a tropical cocktail bar that opened in the East Village during the pandemic. While the bar itself was not a particularly splashy one in New York City, Slava may certainly put the team on the map: The new venture is taking over the former acclaimed Pegu Club space, which shuttered in 2020 after 15 years in operation.
According to the website, the second-floor establishment resides “next to and above” Dos Caminos, perhaps carrying on Pegu Club’s speakeasy feeling. An online menu lists imaginative dishes like BEC pierogi, potato pancakes with creamed mushroom and braised beef tongue, steamed trout with pumpkin cream, and chicken Kyiv with parsnip puree. For desserts, find sour cream panna cotta with cherry syrup and sunflower brittle, as well as a hazelnut crunch cake with toasted caraway seeds. For drinks, needless to say, vodka flows plenty. But it appears in unlikely forms: in a borscht-style cocktail with heavy cream and beets, in a cardamom espresso martini, and in an Aperol drink with sour cherry and lemon.
Beverage director Nazar Hrab (who also designed Pineapple Club’s drinks and has worked at several Jean-Georges restaurants) and executive chef, Alex Scherbyna were both born in Ukraine, according to the Slava website.
It’s a meaningful time to open a Ukrainian restaurant in New York City. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, restaurants like Veselka have become a rallying point to show solidarity for Ukraine. Meanwhile, bars have been dumping Russian vodka and swapping out bottles for Ukrainian-owned ones. At the same time, Russian restaurants in New York City have faced backlash, vandalism, and loss of business, despite standing in support of Ukraine.
Slava joins the ranks of other Eastern European restaurants that have opened over the course of the past year, taking a modern look at the cuisine from a decidedly New York vantage point, in company with Edith’s Eatery and Grocery in Williamsburg, as well as Agi’s Counter, in Crown Heights — though seemingly more lavishly geared towards Manhattan primetime dining, than its colleagues in Brooklyn.