About

After 94 years in business, O'Donnells 1923 Pub & Grill, located at 401 N. Broadway in Gloucester City, NJ, has endured an extensive upgrade and a name change thanks to a new owner, a new executive chef and a new menu designed by an award-wining New York-based consulting chef featuring modern American and Irish cuisine with global influences, which was introduced on March 5th, 2017 during Gloucester City’s second annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The business is now known as O'Donnell's Restaurant & Bar. Likissa Hunde, an Ethiopian-born educator and economist who emigrated to the United States in 2009, purchased the Gloucester City, NJ corner bar from Irene Delimaris in July of 2015, and recently finished freshening up the nearly century-old institution by evolving the name to O’Donnell’s Restaurant & Bar, and bringing in New York-based Chef Darryl Harmon to conceive a cutting-edge new menu while tapping former Philadelphia’s Twenty Manning Grill Sous Chef Issaka Fofana to run the kitchen. Mr. Hunde has led a storied life, traveling around the world while gaining an education and work experience in many different countries and continents. Now in his late 50's, Hunde has been an educator in Ethiopia, acquired his doctorate in Russia, lived in Germany and England, and has traveled throughout Asia before finally landing in Gloucester City, NJ. With Chef Fofana manning the kitchen, the menu at O'Donnell's has experienced a major upgrade. Fofana, who was born in Mali, West Africa, and raised in France, was the sous chef at Twenty Manning Grill from 2006 to 2008, and again for the past two years, working under revered Chef Kiong Banh. He was also the sous chef at the Water Works Restaurant under Chef Harmon from 2008 to 2013, and spent time in the kitchens at Audrey Claire, The Rittenhouse Hotel and the Sofitel Philadelphia Hotel. Fofana executes a menu designed by Chef Darryl Harmon, who is a Jersey City, NJ native and whose culinary experience ranges from upscale catering to restaurant consulting to being the Executive Chef at the Water Works Restaurant, where his menu helped secure a "Best of Philly" for Best New Restaurant from Philadelphia magazine in 2007. Chef Harmon was also named “Chef of the Year” by the American Culinary Federation and by the South Jersey chapter of the Professional Chef's Association in 2009. O'Donnell's also has locally-brewed craft beers and distilled spirits, as well as a delectable "bar bites" menu. Many of the menu items include boxing references, paying homage to boxing legend "KO" Joe O'Donnell, the one-time lightweight Champion of the World, who opened his eponymous pub in 1923 while residing in Gloucester City. O'Donnell's seats 50 guests in the dining room, 70 in a banquet room, and another 30 at the bar (150 total) in a 4,800 square foot space, which is also able to accommodate up to 500 patrons for indoor/outdoor events that spill over into the parking lot. The restaurant sits right in the middle of Gloucester City, which has the third-largest Irish population per capita in New Jersey, as well as one of the largest in the country. The city, which was founded in 1623, is cited by many as the birthplace of rock and roll. Bill Haley & His Comets were the house band playing at the legendary Twin Bar for 18 months starting in the early 1950's, and are said to have modified their performing style while on stage there to an early form of rock and roll. Gloucester City is also home to the wedding of American icon Betsy Ross, then Elizabeth Griscom, who married John Ross in 1773 at Huggs Tavern, which was torn down in the 1920's and is now part of what is Proprietor's Park.