When Doña Tomás opened its doors in Temescal in 1999, the now-hip stretch of Telegraph Ave was a very different place. After 20 years in business there, owner Dona Savitsky is making a change: she’s leaving at the end of the summer.
Doña, a 90-seat restaurant that Savitsky says will be “related in concept” to Doña Tomas, will open at 3770 Piedmont Avenue in mid-September, taking up a chunk of the now-closed market and cafe, Chow, whose mammoth space has been subdivided. Savitsky is teaming up with Doña Tomás manager Andee Brown on the new restaurant, whose name denotes a woman of stature in Spanish. She’s also dropping the Tomás, a nod to former partner Thomas Schnetz, with whom she opened Doña Tomás.
The new iteration of Savitsky’s laid-back Mexican restaurant will serve many of its predecessor’s signature dishes, but this time there will be counter service, all day, every day. Other upgrades include the addition of a weekday breakfast menu with pastries, plus a larger bar and accompanying bar food menu; brunch will continue on Saturdays and Sundays. And, thankfully, Doña will feature a 30-50 seat patio for outdoor dining (though it will be sad to say goodbye to the charming, bougainvillea-drapped garden patio at Doña Tomás).
This isn’t the first time Savitsky has moved things around within her empire: Last summer she moved her popular taqueria, Tacubaya, just a few doors down, into the former home of Pompette (and Cafe Rouge before that), adding a full bar and more seats. The year before that, she split with her aforementioned business partner Thomas Schnetz, ceding control of the duo’s other restaurants, Flora, Bar Fauna, and Xolo.
There’s no word yet on what will take up the remaining two spaces in Chow’s sub-divided building, though Doña will take up 4,300-square-feet on the ground floor. Doña Tomás will close at the end of the summer, a few weeks ahead of Doña’s opening. Stay tuned for more info.