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Donovan’s Location is Being Sold, Buyer Likely to Keep Pub Going

Donovan’s (Photo: Queens Post)

Nov. 16, 2012 By Christian Murray

In July, Donovan’s days looked numbered.

The building was put on the market and Joe Donovan, the owner, was willing to sell the pub with it– or leave the space vacant.

Most feared the worst, viewing the sale as representing the end of the Woodside landmark.

Well, the pub, best known for its hamburgers, may well be sticking around for a lot longer.

Several sources have confirmed that Joe Donovan is close to reaching a deal with two local investors who want to buy the bar/restaurant as well as the property.

A Donovan’s employee, who confirmed the information, said the deal would most likely close after Thanksgiving.

The potential owners attended the recent Taste of Woodside event and helped serve the food offered by Donovan’s.

Donovan’s has been a family-owned pub since 1966.

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Not sure how stupid the new owners can be to dump money in this dump. Tear it down forget the past and start new. Oh wait theirs no foot traffic to support the millions you just bought the place for. Really? Best burger my ass. Go to WilliamsBurger now that’s a great place that should come to this neighborhood.


It should of closed ages ago!!! What a joke! On the outside of the building a sign states ” Voted New York’s No.1 Hamburger!” PLEASE!! The food is scary bad. They keep it nice and dark in there and its not for the ambiance!

I went two or three times over the past 5 or 6 years and every time I was there I ended up saying “what the hell am I doing here eating this c***!

Will never step foot in that place unless they let the sun in and bring in a chef.

Smith and Wollensky burger , now that’s a burger !!!


Donovan’s has always been very good for the neighborhood. Joe Donovan and his family will be the first to tell you that the neighborhood has been good to them as well. As I understand it, he turned down what could have been a better offer from a buyer who wanted to remove the bar/restaurant, to sell to local guys who are going to work to keep it Donovan’s, and build upon it. My understanding is the deal is not finalized yet, and the new owners will not take over for another few weeks.


I have always loved Donovan’s and our family has many happy memories celebrated there .. Can only wish Joe Donovan the best and say
Thanks for the memories ………..

…Always found the staff to be friendly and accommodating … Our waitress
last week was new, nice and did her job quie well .

However the food was just awful ….
The burgers were definitely not Donovan burgers like we were used to and the omelet was anemic at best, and the mushrooms bland right out of a can .. As for the fries, Little bits of burned something or other ..

….Definitely will not return till I hear someone else is enjoying their meal again .

..Good luck to the new owners Please get with it with the food or you won’t last …

We loved loved Donovan’s ………………..


I am glad to read this. I hope the new owners don’t make too many changes. I have always loved the food and atmosphere. I have never understood where the people who hate this place are coming from. Maybe they only like artisan burgers and not real hamburgers?

Long time sunnysider

A breath of fresh air NOT. I’m all into saving local landmarks and supporting our small businesses but I’m sorry Donovan’s food was blahhhh and as for them having the best burgers whoever decided that s not much of a burger lover. Good luck to the new owners.


Regardless of what you think of the food, Donovan’s is an aesthetically pleasing and iconic landmark that should be preserved. When you see Donovan’s, you know you are in Woodside. In a city that is increasingly more uniform, corporate and bland with all the Starbucks, Chase banks and ugly, high-rise condos, Donovan’s is a breath of fresh air.


Food served there is a pathetic excuse for pub food. A sterile glass building with a canz bar would be an upgrade.


There was a time when I thought their food was great. But last two times I was disappointed.

Hope the new owners can make this an attractive place to go!

Good Luck,

Marilyn S.


i agree with j cabb totally — but I also want to add that their employees have always been rude and nasty — if you were not in their click — they would forget about you


This is fantastic news for or area.. this restaruant has such a rich history
God bless the new owners….Great job of reporting by this ste.. the 1010 news of woodside.


Great news …..

…..This kind of establishment is what makes a neighborhood,
and memories ..

Thanks for all the good years Joe Donovan …


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