Where’d the Name Come From

By Graziano Marchese | December 14, 2001

Tom Dooney, from Buffalo, New York writes:

What a charming web page…. I enjoyed my visit… However, for obvious
reasons, I must ask where did you come up with the name.

Hope for a real visit the next time I am in TO.

Hi, Tom,

There are two stories about how Dooney’s got its name. When the restaurant opened 22 years ago, the name was supposed to be "Doney", after the Rome café made famous by Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. The sign-maker, who happened to be Irish, decided the spelling given him was wrong, and corrected it. That’s the story the original owners told me when I took over 17 years ago.

My theory is that they were afraid to give it an ethnic name even though there were 480,000 Italians in the city at the time. The area where the café is located, in Toronto’s annex, was dominantly Anglo and Hungarian at the time.

Drop in next time you’re in town and introduce yourself. Best coffee in Toronto, and the food is good.


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