Ukrainian restaurant Slava opens in former Pegu Club
Slava, a new Ukrainian restaurant and bar, appears to be opening tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 3, at 77 West Houston Street near West Broadway, according to its Instagram account. 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 wasn’t particularly splashy in New York, Slava could certainly put the team on the map: the new venture is taking over the acclaimed former space of the Pegu Club, which closed in 2020 after 15 years of activity.
According to the website, the second-floor establishment resides “next to and above” Dos Caminos, perhaps continuing the speakeasy feel of the Pegu Club. An online menu lists imaginative dishes like BEC pierogi, potato pancakes with creamed mushrooms and braised beef tongue, steamed trout with pumpkin cream and chicken à la kyiv with parsnip puree. For dessert, find a panna cotta with sour cream with cherry syrup and crunchy sunflower, as well as a crunchy cake with hazelnuts and grilled caraway seeds. For drinks, it goes without saying that the vodka flows freely. But it appears in unlikely forms: in a borscht-style cocktail with heavy cream and beets, in an espresso martini with cardamom, and in an Aperol drink with sour cherry and lemon.
Beverage director Nazar Hrab (who also designed Pineapple Club drinks and worked at several Jean-Georges restaurants) and executive chef Alex Scherbyna were both Ukrainian-born, according to Slava’s website.
It’s a significant time to open a Ukrainian restaurant in New York. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022, restaurants like Veselka have become a rallying point to show solidarity with Ukraine. Meanwhile, bars spilled Russian vodka and swapped bottles for Ukrainian-owned bottles. At the same time, Russian restaurants in New York have faced backlash, vandalism and loss of business, despite their support for Ukraine.
Slava joins the ranks of other Eastern European restaurants that have opened over the past year, taking a modern look at cuisine from a decidedly New York perspective, along with Edith’s Eatery and Grocery in Williamsburg, as well as Agi’s Counter, in Crown Heights – although apparently more lavishly geared towards prime-time dining in Manhattan, than its Brooklyn counterparts.
It looks like the restaurant will also have room to hold events for the holiday season in its 127-person dining room, according to its website. Reservations are now live on Resy.