Korean Grill Replaces Polish Icon in Greenpoint

Lomzynianka, a famous restaurant serving Polish comfort food, is gone from the map of Greenpoint. It had been an integral part of this neighborhood and an icon since 1995. It was one of the Polish places in Greenpoint most often mentioned in food reviews and mainstream American media: The New York Times and Daily News in particular.

The place, located at 646 Manhattan Ave., was famous for pierogi, cabbage stew, cutlets and many other dishes typical of Polish cuisine. The neighborhood’s residents, Polish immigrants and Americans alike couldn’t wait for Lomzynianka to reopen after a long remodeling and often expressed hope it would reopen with more space and seating for customers.

Unfortunately the remodeling of the tiny eatery wouldn’t seem to end for months. Finally after two years, the storefront got new windows, the signboard with the restaurant’s name was removed and replaced with the name of a new place: Bulbap Grill, a Korean restaurant.

Surprised to see the new place are not only fans of the Polish eatery, but also its owner Janina Grzelczak. She says that the landlord of the building, in which she had run her restaurant for 22 years, rented out the space to another business without giving her a heads up.

“I signed a preliminary contract based on which I was supposed to rent the space after the remodeling. For the first three months I was going to pay the old rent to make up for the loss resulting from the closure and remodeling. Then we were supposed to sign another five-year contract on new terms, which we had even discussed before,” says the owner of Lomzynianka.

She says she is distraught that the landlord disposed of all the things she had left inside the building and in the basement. “They even took our signboard. I don’t even know where they put it,” says Grzelczak, who found out about all the developments while walking along the street one day. “When I saw that they were throwing our stuff out, my knees bent underneath me. I thought I would get a heart attack,” she said, adding that she got neither a notice from the landlord nor her deposit back.

The New York Buildings Department’s website says that the owner of the property at 646 Manhattan Ave. in Greenpoint is Yueh H Li. Our reporter wasn’t able, however, to get in touch with him in order to ask questions.

While her lawyer has been trying to sort things out, Grzelczak says she would like to reopen her restaurant in another place, although she hasn’t found one yet. “I would like to bring Lomzynianka back to life, wherever possible. At this point, however, I am so shocked with what happened that I can’t even think of getting started,” she said.

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