C.F. Donovan's closed; the future is unclear

Sue Asci
Nov. 19, 2009

C.F. Donovan'sC.F. Donovan'sC.F. Donovan's, the popular Dorchester neighborhood restaurant and bar on Savin Hill Ave. across from the T station, was shuttered this week and appears closed. The doors remain locked and the windows are covered with brown paper.

Earlier in the week, a neighbor reported seeing two small trucks backed up to a rear door of the building. Three workers were seen moving what appeared to be kitchen equipment onto the trucks.
Phone calls to the business went unanswered, and owner Arthur Donovan could not be reached for comment.

"Donovan's is the anchor of that neighborhood and we hope it re-opens and remains under the management of Arthur Donovan," said James Brett, a Savin Hill resident and president and chief executive of The New England Council. "Arthur is beloved by that neighborhood. He has done so much for so many people, in a quiet way. We are rooting for him. I don't know if he knows how much love and respect there is for him in the community."

"It is a great place to eat and to meet for conversation," Brett said. "Arthur is the Anthony Athanas of Dorchester. He is the greeter and he knows everyone's name and makes them feel welcome."

Like others, Brett said he does not know anything about the status of the business.

"Arthur put so much of his sweat and equity into the community," Brett said. "I think it's important that the community rally around him."


Arthur's employees have been with him for many years. Very devoted and dedicated. Arthur did not have enough common sense to warn these employees of the potential shutting down of even call them when he was ordered to shut down. A neighborhood staple? You should have worked for him and seen what he was really like. He didn't pay his employees for weeks at a time. Some servers haven't seen paychecks for months. He was a terrible manager and deserves what he has coming to him!

Mr. Brett hit the nail right on the head with what he said about Mr. Donovan. The bar can be replaced and another "anchor of the neighborhood" found( maybe something other than a bar next time), but Arthur Donovan is a treasure of Savin Hill who can not be replaced

Coincidentally, many of the words Mr. Brett used to describe Arthur Donovan could easily be used by many to describe Mr. Brett.