Donna's Closed Suddenly After 10 Years

"It was a big shock," says manager.

 closed its Columbia restaurant over the weekend, ending a 10-year run at its location off Waterloo Road at Snowden River Parkway.

The owners decided to close the restaurant after a dispute over the lease, according to manager Katie Houston. She said the owners told her on Friday that the restaurant would close on Sunday.

"It was a big shock," said Houston. "That's an understatement."

Local blogger HowChow broke the news on Saturday, stating: "...it's a bummer to see them close."

The company, which also has two locations in Baltimore, announced the closing on its website with the following statement:

We are sorry to tell you that Donna’s, Columbia will be closing this weekend and classes canceled. Thank you for your support over the last 10 years. We will keep you updated on our next step.

No one answered when Patch called the business office on Monday morning.

The restaurant was known for its gourmet sandwiches and ever-changing dinner menu. It was located at 5850 Waterloo Road.

In recent years, Donna's saw increased competition in the area from , which opened in the same business center off of Snowden River Parkway in 2007.

Houston said that wasn't the reason for closing. "They had their customers and we had ours and we shared some," she said.

She said the location may have contributed: "It was a hard spot to find."

On Sunday evening, employees, ex-employees and customers gathered for the "last supper" and had a small party.

"It was fun," said Houston. "We had to have a proper send-off."

Some of the 25 employees that worked at the Columbia location will stay with Donna's and work at one of the company's Baltimore locations, according to Houston, who said Donna's would not be reopening elsewhere in Columbia or Howard County. The restaurant opened 10 years ago this month.

Will you miss Donna's? Tell us in the comments.

mary steen May 22, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I think the biggest competition was Eggspectation. Still a horrible shame, but the owners are correct, hidden out of view. The last time I went there, was because of snarled traffic jam and the food, as always was incredible!!!!
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