Oye's Restaurant and Bar to Move into Donatello's Space on Route 1 in Saugus
Another piece of the "old" Route 1 is disappearing, and a dining spot a few miles to the west is planning to take over the space.
According to an article in Wicked Local, the town of Saugus has given its approval for Oye's Restaurant & Bar to operate at 44 Broadway, taking over the space where Donatello's currently is. The post mentions that the space will receive only minor renovations, with the upcoming pan-Asian eatery modeling the concept after the original location of the restaurant, which is on Walkers Brook Drive in Reading. It is not yet known when Donatello's might close or when Oye's could open; as soon as we find out more, we will post an update here. [October 2 update: According to a Facebook post from the restaurant, Donatello's is now closed, with its last day in operation being earlier this week.]
Donatello's first opened in the late 1980s, featuring a mix of old-fashioned Italian-American and traditional Italian fare in an upscale environment. It is one of a few longtime spots on the Saugus stretch of Route 1 that have either closed over the past several years or are slated to close, including Hilltop Steak House, which shut down in October of 2013, and the Route 1 Miniature Golf/Dairy Castle complex in Saugus, which could be closing either later this year or in 2016.
The website for Donatello's is at http://www.donatello-restaurant.com/ while the website for the original Oye's in Reading can be found at http://www.oyesreading.com/
[June 13, 2016 update: Nearly 10 months after first reporting on this, Oye's has still not opened and now the board of selectmen want to see progress made, according to a new Saugus Advertiser article. The post indicates that the restaurant now has plans to include a sushi bar on the first floor and a service bar on the second floor--and they are working with a building inspector--but the board thought that the place would be open by now and are concerned about the length of time that its license remains unused. Oye's is now looking to open this fall, and the board has asked to meet with the restaurant on June 22 to get specific details on its progress.]
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[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]