Last month, the dining world was shocked by the news that Dumont restaurateur Colin Devlin had taken his own life. Now, a touching Times profile of Devlin offers new details on his personal life and the small dining empire that he created in Williamsburg.
Devlin's friends and family remember him as an exceedingly generous man. As a young, broke bartender, Devlin famously pulled $1,000 out of his sock and gave it to his buddy Mark Firth so that he could start his own Williamsburg restaurant. Once Diner was off the ground and Devlin was planning Dumont, Firth gave him back his $1,000 of sock money so that he could open his own restaurant.
Although Devlin's three restaurants flourished during the low-point of the recession, his fanciest establishment, Dressler, ran into some problems starting in 2010. One purveyor stopped making deliveries to Dressler because of unpaid bills, and then in 2012, the restaurant lost its chef Polo Dobkin. The chef tried to buy Dressler from Devlin, but he wouldn't accept the offer.
Devlin closed Dressler this summer after announcing plans for two new restaurants. His business partner Joseph Foglia explains: "We had this conversation, getting rid of Dressler will make things simpler...It's easy to say I'm going to try to live a simpler life and try to edit out all the madness, especially when it's burying you." Devlin's group also lost a lot of money at this year's Great GoogaMooga fest.
The Devlin Metro Group's two remaining restaurants are still going strong, and apparently, the landlord is lining up a new tenant for the Dressler space.
· Restaurants Were His Life [~ENY~]
· All Coverage of Colin Devlin [~ENY~]