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Every Restaurant in New York, Illustrated

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A former New Yorker editor documents facades online

8 1⁄2 brasserie John Donohue

A former New Yorker editor has set out to document the city’s 24,000 restaurants one by one — with illustrations. Inspired by websites like “Every Person in New York,” John Donohue has started to draw as many restaurants as he can with his new project All the Restaurants in New York. And as of Saturday, his prints will be on display at Powerhouse on 8th in Park Slope, at 1111 8th Ave., from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Donohue draws the facade of each one in about 20 minutes and since starting in January, he has memorialized The Odeon, Prune, and Joe Allen. He even captures restaurants like Public, slated to close later this summer, as well as China Grill, which shuttered to make way for the Salt Bae restaurant.

He has written that he started drawing “as a fatherhood survival tool” — something to keep him in the moment and de-stress. For this particular project, he also writes context with each illustration, noting the history of the restaurant or a dish he liked. For Cornelia Street Cafe, he explains how it's run by artists and still hosts events.

The Odeon illustration John Donohue
John Donohue
China Grill illustration John Donohue

The illustrations can be purchased as prints, $55 for a 5x7 print and $95 for a 9x12 print. He creates only 365 copies of each one and includes a note on the limited nature of the prints that rings darkly true for many of the restaurants he illustrates, too: “Each annotated print is a beautiful reminder that our days are numbered.”

To stay updated on his new illustrations, see his website here.

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