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 darbster.com.
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.