The Women of NoHo: Donna Lennard of il Buco

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For Women's History Month, we're partnering with over 30 neighborhood organizations from across NYC on the #SmallBusinessWonderWomen campaign. We're sharing the wonderful women behind the businesses that make NoHo a special place. Every woman was asked to share what makes them a small business wonder woman and why they chose to make NoHo their home.

"I started il Buco 26 years ago with my wonderful Italian partner, Alberto.  It was an artist's studio at the time, which I happened upon while crossing Bond Street one afternoon. We leased it from the wonderful artists and turned it into an antique store in 1994, when crack vials littered the sidewalk out front. We managed to get a wine and beer license a year later and convinced our landlords to allow us to sell food and wine.  The rest is history!  Alberto moved back to Italy eventually and our lives moved in separate directions but we always collaborated from afar, sourcing Italian products and caring for il Buco.  On my own, however, I grew the restaurant and brand considerably for another 20 years, eventually expanding to design and build il Buco Alimentari, il Buco Vita- my artisan Italian table top line, and eventually Bottega il Buco in Ibiza (another partnership with Alberto this time from Italy).  I have an incredibly loyal clientele to thank for continued support through thick and thin, and a team, developed over the years who I am indelibly grateful to for their talent, creativity and constant support. This past year of this unprecedented pandemic has brought forth numerous silver linings:  my first cookbook, the return of my 3 star chef, Justin Smiliie, and the redefining of my team in ways I could never have expected.  The continued support of our regulars and friends has been heartwarming and proof of the greatest goal of my brand:  to bring friends together over food and wine, to share, discuss, create and grow together. My son was born 16 years ago this week, and raising him, mostly as a single mom, with the extended il Buco family below and all around me, has been my greatest joy.  He truly makes me feel like Wonder Woman!

 
NoHo is a unique oasis in our crazy bustling city.  The cobblestone streets interspersed with the beautiful old manufacturing buildings of old New York, now interspersed with some of the most unique modern residences and even mini towers, make it visually stunning and unique like a small enclave within a complex web of diverse enclaves.  This one is filled with artists, builders, creators & innovators.  Even as gentrification takes hold, it still retains its charm and nuance."
 
Learn more about Donna in her interview with Witten Kitchen: Dishing With Donna Lennard of Il Buco
 
The il Buco Family includes the following spots:
  • il Buco is located at 47 Bond Street
  • il Buco Alimentari & Vineria is at 53 Great Jones Street
  • il Buco Vita is located at 4 East 2nd Street

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