Donovan’s Reef Restaurant is located in Branford’s historic Lock Works Square in the main building of the old Branford Lock Works. This 18th century factory building gives Donovan’s a warm rustic charm bringing you back to the early days of Branford.
The Branford Lock Works was founded in 1862 by Orrin D. Squire whom at that time was a rather illustrious figure in the town of Branford. He held many town positions in addition to being the founder of the Branford Lock Works including the town’s probate judge, treasurer, and first postmaster.
Over thirty years later in 1898, Branford Lock Works shop foreman, Martin Burk established one of Branford’s first fire brigades. Originally set up to protect the factory, it soon became Branford’s first Fire Department known as the Martin Burk Hook and Ladder #1 and the Louis Fisk fire Hose Co. #1.
Today, over one hundred years later, the Branford Lock Works has been converted into a quaint yet nostalgic business center and at the heart of it all lies Branford’s favorite Bar and Grille; Donovan’s Reef.
Donovan’s or “The Reef” as it is called by the locals was originally named the Coral Reef and changed names when the Former Owner (Greg Bozzi) remodeled in the late 1990’s. Donovan’s Reef Restaurant & Catering now Owned by Steven Sinapis, a Branford Resident, Steve was General Manager and mentored by Greg for over 6 years. Steve has over 15 years of various restaurant experience, from the Greater Boston Area to the New Haven Area, which translates well to Donovan’s Reef Restaurant & Catering with a diverse menu for dining and catering.
*The “Donovan’s Reef” name comes from the title of a 1963 John Wayne film in which the Duke plays Michael Patrick Donovan and co-stars with Lee Marvin (Thomas “Boats” Gilhooley).