Donovan’s Pub in Woodside up for sale

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John F. Harnett, 79, is going to have to find another place to eat lunch.

Donovan’s Pub, Woodside’s well-known eatery and bar — and Harnett’s lunchtime spot for nearly three decades — is up for sale after having been in business for 46 years.

“I’ve tried other restaurants, but you can’t beat this,” said Harnett, who makes the 10 block trek from his home to Donovan’s almost on a daily basis. “The food has always been reasonably priced. Anywhere else around here, you’re not going to get two [pork] chops that size for the money Donovan’s charges.”

Known for its prized burgers, which have been mentioned in major publications such as the New York Times, New York Post and the Daily News, the pub has made a name for itself through affordable prices and high quality alcohol, including a wine cellar that remains at a constant temperature 24/7. The location is an especially hot commodity in the evenings when residents getting off work look for a place to wind down.

The restaurant is up for sale because owner Joe Donovan is looking to retire from his business empire.

According to Massey Knakal Realty Services, the store, 57-24 Roosevelt Avenue, is at an asking price of $3.2 million.

Jack Donovan, manager and Joe’s younger brother, said he and the other employees hope that the new management chooses to keep the business and operate it. But nothing is set in stone as of yet.

“They [the employees] are all part of an extended family,” said Jack. “But everything good comes to an end.”

As for Harnett, saying good bye to a place that he calls his “favorite part of the day” and cooking that he says is second only to his mother’s, will be difficult.

“I’ll probably have to look for a new place [if Donovan’s closes],” said Harnett. “I will miss this place.”

  • Jeanne C. Majors

    My supervisors at the LGA Airport took me to
    Donovans for Secretary’s Day luncheon for 15 years. Even after I retired I would still go for an occasional hamburger. Going to miss the place.

  • Sharon Bradley Scholl

    What – my favorite all time place to eat since I was well over the entire 46 years.. We have celebrated St. Patty’s Day, Mater Christi Reunions, my girlfriend Phyllis’s 40th Birthday and meeting my new husband for the first time……..the best Shepherd’s Pie inthe area….I now have to go there one more time….let’s all get together and appreciate what we had – a wonderful, loyal, dependent, consistent restaurant of the highest quality – It just can’t close….cannot!

  • Elaine K.

    Say it ain’t so! Used to be a semi-regular @ Donovan’s. An institution in Woodside.