Food & Drink

Donna's Cross Keys closing Sunday after 19 years in business

Donna’s, the once-popular restaurant in the Village of Cross Keys, will close on Sunday after 19 years in business.

The 2,500-square-foot cafe, known for its breakfast offerings and mix of Italian and American cuisine, employs 25, according to co-owner Alan Hirsch.


“Over the past couple years our sales have dropped a bit. It’s no longer financially sustainable,” he said. “It’s been going through my head a long time. It was finalized a couple weeks ago.”

Hirsch opened Donna’s with chef Donna Crivello. In February 2016, the two also opened Cosima, an upscale Sicilian and Southern Italian restaurant near Hampden and Woodberry. Hirsch left that restaurant last year.


“It just wasn’t working for me,” he said. “I wasn’t enjoying it anymore.”

Hirsch said he plans to make it a priority to find new jobs for the employees of Donna’s, although none of those employees will be placed at Cosima, he said.

“I’m going to be working with another restaurant,” he said, though he declined to name it. He estimated that 70 percent of Donna’s employees would end up there.

Crivello and Hirsch previously operated two other Donna’s locations. The Charles Village cafe closed its doors in January 2016 after 18 years in business, and the brand had a 10-year run in Columbia that came to a close in 2012.

Crivello could not be immediately reached for comment.