By Gintautas Dumcius
The Lower Mills Civic Association unanimously
signed off Tuesday night on a plan by new owners to
renovate Donovan's Village Tavern on Dorchester
Avenue. The approval came with a caveat: At the
urging of the association's vice president, Richard
O'Mara, members tacked on a limit to how late a
planned outdoor patio can serve food and drink.
The restaurant will stop serving at 11 p.m., a
request the owners, who attended the association
meeting at St. Gregory's school auditorium, said
Two brothers with a contracting business in
Savin Hill, Brendan and Greg Feeney, will now head
to Boston's Licensing Board to seek approval of a
formal transfer from Matthew and Veronica Donovan,
the longtime owners. A hearing on the transfer is
scheduled for June 25.
The brothers, who hail from County Sligo in
Ireland, and their attorney, John Connell, declined
to disclose to the Reporter how much they paid for
the restaurant and pub, which has been on the
market for several years. The restaurant-bar is in
the center of an area that is undergoing a rapid
change, with several high-profile properties under
construction, in redevelopment or on the
Peppered with questions from the small
auditorium crowd, the Feeney brothers said they
plan to rename the restaurant "The Ledge." The
eatery will serve standard American food, such as
burgers, fish and chips and chicken, for a lunch
and dinner crowd. They are bringing in an
"experienced chef" from the South Shore for their
kitchen, they said.
A limited overhaul is in the cards for the Dot
Ave. tavern, with one center entrance instead of
two, two handicapped bathrooms, and an outdoor
patio with a seasonal bar. The patio will seat up
to 60 people at 30 tables, according to the
presentation the Feeney brothers made to civic
association members. The kitchen area will remain
the same, and they may install a sprinkler system,
They have no current plans for a house which
stands at the rear of the property, they added.
Ideally, they hope to open the revamped restaurant
around Christmas-time or New Year's.
Peak hours will likely be between 6 p.m. and 9
p.m., Brendan Feeney said, adding that they were
not going into the "early morning bar business."
They will not seek an entertainment license, he
The brothers originally wanted a 1 a.m. closing
time for both the bar and patio, but O'Mara said
that raised a "red flag" for him. While other
audience members said an 11 p.m. stoppage of food
and alcohol at the patio was too restrictive, the
new owners said they were open to it.
"I think it's a plus," O'Mara said afterwards of
the new restaurant. "I trust their judgment on
The civic association also thanked the present
co-owner, Veronica Donovan, for her 40-odd years of
service in the community and the parish.
"We know you're not going to disappear,"
association president Michael Skillin said.
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