With Teresa’s and Kiev gone, Polonia is one of the very few remaining outposts of Polish dining in the East Village. And while it won’t be going anywhere, exactly, the 24-year-old restaurant is about to undergo a significant facelift.
Eater reports that Paul Jurczyk bought the First Avenue restaurant from his parents and is planning to transform it from an unassuming diner into an “Eastern European dining experience” with the help of a chef who used to cook at Il Buco. That means instead of lime-green walls, wine from a box, and frozen/microwaved ingredients, there will be new wooden flooring, an organic/biodynamic wine list, and grilled pork belly.
Fortunately, Jurczyk is keeping prices low and plenty of traditional Polish food on the menu. Here’s hoping that the restaurant will get an update that respects its past while introducing it to a new generation — and that the neighborhood won’t be getting its own version of the Kellogg Diner revamp.