Donkey Diner: new owner, expanding menu

240_sand-donkeyThe new chef at Coral Bay’s Donkey Diner is a classically trained professional chef who plans to keep the place true to its roots while also taking the menu upscale.

Dave Borowiec graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and has worked for both multi-unit food operations as well as stand alone restaurants on St. Thomas and the Pacific.  Eager to strike out on his own, when he heard the Diner was for sale he alerted friends with money. One of them, Michael Brouwer, bought it.  They opened for business Oct. 22.

It’s fair to say the first few weeks were rugged.  

Some longtime local customers were unhappy with Borowiec’s effort to rid the kitchen of free ranging chickens.  “Out in the yard with the tables, they’re part of the ambience” he agreed, “But they have no place inside.”  He’s now trying to keep the fowl at bay with less aggressive measures.

Efforts to expound the Diner’s Web site have yielded little progress.  Borowiec is on a third Web designer who says they can do the job.

“We’e always going to be known as a place for breakfast in the morning and pizza at night,” Borowiec told the Inquiring Iguana. But the menu will offer more than those basics. Already he’s added toasted submarines and lobster rolls.  “We may also try chicken marsala, rosemary chicken, or chicken par,” he added. He also wants to feature Coral Bay artists' work as part of the interior decoration.

6 thoughts on “Donkey Diner: new owner, expanding menu”

  1. Oh just wonderful! he we go making a really cool place in to an uppity dive. So goodby Donkey Dinner hello Chez ASS dinner. Please tell me why do they want to cook all of the chickens ? “chicken marsala,chicken par, rosemmary chicken” ? PS. Dave and Michael you might not want to unpack just yet as this will run you new business down the drain.

  2. Dave just can’t seem to get his stories straight. First, he didn’t want the chickens shitting (his words) on the backyard tables (I never saw anything like that) & they didn’t belong near the place so he went around shooting at them with a BB gun in front of customers. That caused an uproar so he began trapping them & taking them elsewhere. Now he says they’re part of the “ambiance.” Which is it? Ambiance for the press; no chickens wanted for real? What about kindness for the cats, too? Where is that? The laid back, casual, easy going atmosphere is missed. These guys need to loosen up.

  3. Free range chickens are exactly that–free reign!. They poop wherever they are standing. Screen doors are the easiest way to keep them out of your house. I know, I have about 15-30 bush chickens on my property. They do provide a service however. They turn the soil wherever you throw rice and they eat every insect they run into. Waving a towel will make them scatter.

  4. Ah, but the island has changed. Still, on the Coral Bay side, some stuff isn’t going to fly. Jeezum, the Donkey Diner shouldn’t have a “chef”. Get rid of the “chef” and find a good cook. What a bizarre idea to make the Donkey Diner more upscale. Maybe add sushi? Or maybe find a local cook and add more West Indian dishes. The chickens? Some folks see them as annoyances, other folks don’t even notice them. The gentrification and Americanization of the island rolls on but Coral Bay isn’t for sale yet.

  5. Well i see nothing is going to change terir minds, So tell all of your friends it’s time to boycott the Donkey! when they see theis a losing deal they will give up and leave!

  6. We were at the Donkey Diner last week, the menu and ambiance seemed unchanged from last year, of course I had my usual breakfast, and we had pizza one night. Chickens were coming in and out of the dining room. Maybe the new “chef” is starting to chill…

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