Acclaimed but tiny old-school American counter Mr. Donahue’s is closing in August after just over a year stint in Nolita.
It was the second restaurant for husband-wife chef team Matt Danzer and Ann Redding, who rose to prominence with their eclectic Michelin-star Thai restaurant Uncle Boons. Mr. Donahue’s was totally different, serving American fare in a space intended to look like a 19th century diner. It opened at 203 Mott Street in February 2016 and received two stars in a review from the Times.
Redding writes in an email to Eater that closing is a “tough decision,” but the restaurant simply wasn’t working due to a variety of factors.
“[The] price point too low for a space that small, and we weren't comfortable with raising the prices — wanted it to be accessible and value driven,” she writes. “Not sure it will ever be sustainable enough to make sense, and NYC is unforgiving to small business in that sense.”
But Redding and Danzer will be keeping the space for another project they’ve been thinking about for a long time — a take-out version of Uncle Boons. The Mr. Donahue’s space is around the corner from Uncle Boons, and they originally took over the space to do take-out.
That’s good news for fans of the couple’s spicy and accessible fare. Uncle Boons continues to be wildly popular, with waits that stretch out at prime dinner times. No word yet on when it will open.
Take a look at the full letter Redding and Danzer will post for diners on Monday. The last day is August 5th. Stay tuned for more.
Sadly, we must say goodbye for now.
It was a very tough decision for us to make but though we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished at Mr. Donahue’s, we’ve come to the realization that the concept is ill suited to the limitations of our tiny space. We will be closing our little restaurant and our last day of service will be August 5th. It is our hope to find a new home for Mr. D’s.
We want to thank everyone for your tremendous support over this last year and are truly grateful that we had the opportunity to serve you. We’ve been really lucky to have such great regulars (Daniel & Ursula-Thanks!!!) and people who embraced our “grandma cuisine”. We also want to thank our team for putting their all into this with us.
Please come visit us one last time for our Roast Beef, Chicken-Fried Pork Cheeks & Crab Imperial.
On a brighter note, will be opening a new concept in the space and are all very excited to show you what’s next.
Matt, Ann and the Mr. D’s Team