The Village of Cross Keys is losing a mainstay, with the owners of Donna’s announcing today they’ll be shutting down their last remaining location after this weekend.
Donna Crivello and Alan Hirsch, who own the Mediterranean-inspired eatery, said in an announcement their final day in business will be Sunday, Dec. 9.
“We have made so many friends here over the years, it makes closing very tough. However, gradual declines in business over the last few years have made the business no longer sustainable,” they wrote.
Donna’s has operated in the upscale shopping center off of Falls Road for 19 years, offering a café and spot for brunch, lunch and dinner with a patio view of the community that developer Jim Rouse opened in 1965.
It’s the last surviving member of the Donna’s family. Hirsch and Crivello, both alumni of the newspaper business, previously ran locations in Columbia, which closed in 2012, and Charles Village, which shut down in 2016 after nearly 18 years in business.
Former Baltimore Sun restaurant critic Richard Gorelick also called out to Hirsch and Crivello’s original location in Mount Vernon, which they decided not to reopen after a fire, and other Donna’s cafes, for bringing the coffee bar craze to the city. The restaurant in the Park Plaza building—now home to Dooby’s and Sugarvale—opened in 1992 and “changed dining in Baltimore.”
“From the start, Donna’s menu was rooted in Crivello’s love of and immersion in the cuisine of the Mediterranean,” he wrote.
She and Hirsch aren’t disappearing from the city’s restaurant scene altogether. Both are partners (along with Judith Golding) in the popular Mill No. 1-based Southern Italian restaurant Cosima, where Crivello also serves as executive chef.
As for the servers, kitchen and others working in their Cross Keys location, they wrote, “We’re confident you’ll see the rest of the staff as well in other restaurants nearby.”
Donna’s is another major loss for The Village of Cross Keys, which saw Ruth Shaw, a women’s boutique, leave for a space at The Shops at Kenilworth in Towson last year. The shopping center still has Scoozi and the Village Square Café as restaurant options, retailers Talbots, The Pied Piper, Octavia Boutique and Williams-Sonoma, and the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, among a handful of others.
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