July 9, 2011 Staff Report
Donovan’s Pub, which was closed by the Health Dept. on June 30, reopened Friday night.
Inside the pub, the menu board reads: “To All our Loyal Customers, Welcome Back.”
Joe Donovan, the owner of the famous Woodside establishment, located on the corner of 58th Street and Roosevelt Ave., is relying on the loyalty of his patrons to get the pub back up on its feet. The bar, best known for its hamburgers, failed two successive health inspections and received an avalanche of bad press.
“We have been in business for 45 years and we have done people’s communion parties to funerals. We know the names of our customer’s, their kids and their grand-kids,” an Irish waitress, who spoke to the Sunnysidepost, said. She spoke on behalf of the restaurant, since Joe Donovan was unavailable.
“Most people know that we have high standards,” the waitress said, pointing to the pub’s long history in Woodside. “Part of the problem is that the city is cash strapped. It’s picking on businesses.”
The waitress, who has worked at the bar for 14 years, said many staff members—from chefs to waitress– have been at the pub for decades. She said 40 people work at the pub, many of whom suffered from the closing.
Donovan’s opened in 1966, and quickly became the local hangout for Irish Americans looking for a traditional meal of meat and potatoes at an affordable price. The establishment did so well that it grew over the years from one dining room to four.
At the time of publication, the latest Health Report was unavailable.