Fotografiska, the Swedish photography museum at 281 Park Avenue South, closed the shutter on acclaimed restaurant Veronika this week — but it won’t say why.
The abrupt closing of Stephen Starr’s beautiful, second-floor venue for modern Eastern European cuisine came only a few weeks after it reopened following a year-long Covid-19-related shutdown.
The unexplained death of the 200-seat fine-dining restaurant with gleaming crystal chandeliers suspended from a 20-foot ceiling was a setback to the city’s rejuvenated dining scene, where many beloved venues — including The Grill and Barbetta — have come back from the pandemic or plan to do soon do so.
The untimely final curtain left a void in the city’s dining scene where Veronika’s brand of perfectly executed wiener schnitzel, coulibiac and other Mitteleuropean classics is hard to find.
A notice on Veronika’s website coldly stated that “ownership has made the difficult decision to close” as of Sept. 1. The notice blamed it on “the prolonged recovery period” from the pandemic and “staffing challenges.”
But the restaurant was owned by the museum, not by mega-restaurateur Starr, who ran it under a management contract. Starr owns Manhattan’s thriving Pastis, Buddakan, Upland, El Vez and La Mercerie, and plans to soon reopen Le Coucou and Clocktower.
Starr declined to comment as did Fotografiska’s restaurant-loving landlord, Aby Rosen. The person who answered the phone at Fotografista said she had no information to share and hung up when asked specific questions about Veronika.
In January 2020, The Post praised Veronika as “the finest transformation of a historic, private space into a venue for public consumption — namely, food consumption — since Grand Central Terminal’s Campbell Apartment two decades ago.”