The owner of Donovan’s Steak & Chop House has a long history of success in the restaurant industry.
Originally from a small town in Illinois, Shea worked his way up in business at Stauffer’s hotels and restaurants, and then at the DeLorean Motor Co. in Los Angeles. After partnering with area businessman Don Wollan when they met at a charity event in Oceanside, the duo forged a fast-food empire of nearly 90 Hardee’s restaurants throughout the South over the years.
Shea and Wollan later developed a concept for a classic, New York-style steak house, and debuted Donovan’s Steak & Chop House on La Jolla Village Drive in 1999. Since then, two additional Donovan’s locations have opened (one in the Gaslamp Quarter and another in Phoenix), and the restaurant has become a go-to place for special occasions and a watering hole for San Diego’s business elite. Shea and Wollan also own Donovan’s Prime Seafood in the Gaslamp Quarter.
The restaurants have received high marks from Zagat and Gayot for their USDA Prime-aged steaks, attentive wait staff and bygone-era atmosphere. Donovan’s was also highlighted on the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”
Shea is also associated with Fabric Discounters and Paradigm Investment Group, and is also the co-founder of Fans, Taxpayers and Business Alliance.