Openings and Closings

Darbster Closes Boca Raton Location, Consults With Raw Food Chef Matthew Kenney

Darbster, one of Palm Beach County's most beloved vegetarian and vegan restaurants, has closed its Boca Raton location — but only for the summer months.

Several weeks ago, Darbster owners Ellen Quinlan and Allan Gould quietly closed the doors to their second location, which opened in 2012. A sign on the door was the only notice, stating simply: "closed for renovations." The sudden closure comes six months after the couple asked South Florida-based vegan chef, Seth Kirshbaum, to take the reigns at Darbster Boca. The plan was to revamp the menu, add a craft cocktail program, host regular pairing dinners, and create a more active late-night scene.

"We have decided to take this summer to remodel and recreate our plant based restaurant in Boca," said Quinlan. "We plan to reopen in late September with a more upscale — and downsized — interior, as well as a fresh garden space. The menu will also undergo an extensive overhaul."

Quinlan also stated the couple is currently speaking with Matthew Kenney — an American celebrity chef, author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur specializing in plant-based food — to assist with the Darbster Boca Raton re-launch. Kenney is the founder of Matthew Kenney Cuisine and Matthew Kenney Culinary, a raw food education center that offers online tutorials and courses.

Gould and Quinlan opened the original Darbster in 2010, what was once an old dive-bar spot at 8020 S. Dixie Highway. Today, the restaurant stands as one of South Florida's most popular — and only outdoor, tropical-themed, and pet-friendly — vegetarian restaurants, located just a few miles south of downtown West Palm Beach. The establishment is named for the couple's late dog, Darby, an homage that accounts for the establishment's dog-friendly attitude.

The Darbster West Palm Beach location is open Tuesday through Friday from 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 5 to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 5 to 9 p.m. Call 561-586-2622 , or visit

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna