By Jano Tantongco
A fixture in the local artistic and musical scene, the Danyell’s Kitchen in Northport permanently closed on Jan. 3.
The restaurant had been facing tough times since September and had been having difficulty paying the bills. Owner Danyell Miller opened the restaurant under the name Campari in February 2012. But, to attract more locals, especially those who recognized her name, she changed the name to Danyell’s Kitchen last March.
The restaurant started off by serving Italian food, but evolved to serving meals from around the Mediterranean.
Unable to pay over six months of worth of rent, the restaurant had to finally shut its doors, Miller said.
“It’s funny, because where I’m at now with Danyell’s Kitchen, having an artist and musical community, that was the dream. I didn’t have any restaurant experience, I just learned how to do it,” she said.
She said it’s been challenging, but is proud of the work she was able to accomplish.
To clean up the restaurant space on their last day before packing their things, Miller enlisted the help of those who helped cultivate the restaurant as a gallery and musical venue.
“It was really sweet to have that one day where I could say goodbye to the community,” Miller said. “All throughout the day, people stopped in to say goodbye and say thank you for the food that I made for them.”
Among those assisting, was local singer and songwriter, Toby Tobias. He also hosted the “Original Open Mic,” a weekly session of original music from Huntington at Danyell’s Kitchen every Wednesday since April.
Tobias said he is “deeply appreciative” of what Miller did “to make the musical and artistic life in Huntington more uplifted.”
Now, Tobias is in the process of seeking a new location for the open-mics sessions. He is currently eyeing a venue in Huntington Station.
As for her next move, Miller aspires to stay within the realm of cuisine, considering suggestions from friends to pursue catering or private parties.
“What I’m looking forward to in the next few weeks is getting some rest, spending time with my daughter, and trying to figure out what to do next,” she said.
She lives with her 4-year-old daughter, Hali, and her partner Giovanni, who works in IT in Manhattan.
Deveraux Property, the broker for the property, could not be reached for comment.