So long, Don’s. Hello, Havana Koi.

So much for nostalgia burgers. Ready for some Cuban fusion?

Don’s Burgers and Fries, which tried to transplant the ’50s magic of the original Don’s in Livingston next to Morristown’s Mayo Performing Arts Center, is being replaced by Havana Koi, a Cuban restaurant from the owners of the adjoining Brick Oven.

The opening is targeted for Dec. 15, 2013, according to co-owner Charlie Byrne.

But what’s with the Koi part?

“Our chef has a Japanese flair. He might use a demi-glace now and then,” said Charlie, who opened the Brick Oven with Michael Malgieri seven years ago.

Charlie Byrne in front of the old Don's Hamburgers, soon to become Havana Koi. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Charlie Byrne in front of the old Don’s Burgers, soon to become Havana Koi. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The atmosphere at Havana Koi will be business casual, and the restaurant also will have a take-out menu, Charlie said.

“It will be tapas-style,” added Tim Fields, general manager of the Brick Oven.

Havana Koi will seat about 70 people indoors, with patio dining during the warm months. Vanessa Deleon Associates, a hot New York company, is designing the restaurant interior. The space also may be used for catered events during the daytime.

Menu prices will range from about $7 for light fare to $25 for dinner specials, Tim said. If you want wine or beer, it’s BYOB.

“This will be a Cuban fusion experience, with upbeat, eclectic decor, and very moderate prices. It will be a different thing from anything else in town,” said one of the partners, who declined to give his name.

The former Don's Burgers gets a facelift, as owners of the Brick Oven transform it into a Cuban restaurant, Havana Koi.Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The former Don’s Burgers gets a facelift, as owners of the Brick Oven transform it into a Cuban restaurant, Havana Koi.Photo by Kevin Coughlin

 



Comments

  1. Rosary Lescohier says:

    Look forward to a new Cuban restaurant, but sorry to see Don’s go; they had the best hot dog in NJ.

  2. Margret Brady says:

    The original Don’s was nothing like the Morristown Dons, so it started out on the wrong foot. Expecting super table service, juicy hamburgers on fresh baked toasted rolls and fabulous deserts, we never went back. Perhaps if they had just promoted that they were a fast food place with decent hot dogs, fewer would have been disappointed and they would have found a following.

  3. Sounds like Cuban Pete’s in Montclair.

  4. Disappointed to hear it is the same owners, given how bad the food at Brick Oven is. :/

  5. Agree with N, but looking forward to going there.

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