Restaurateur Colin Devlin - Biography

July 2013

In just eight short years Colin Devlin created three restaurants, earned one Michelin Star, and forever altered the terrain of the Brooklyn dining landscape. He opened his first restaurant, DuMont, in June of 2001 in Williamsburg, before the neighborhood was the hip destination it is today. The house burger and macaroni and cheese were so popular that Devlin launched DuMont Burger in 2005 to alleviate the demand at the original location. Having tackled the comfort food arena, Devlin set his sights on a more upscale restaurant and opened Dressler in South Williamsburg in the fall of 2006, which was awarded a Michelin star less than a year after opening.

Born in Philadelphia, Colin Devlin’s modest introduction to the restaurant business began when he was 14, as dishwasher at a local catering company. Throughout college, he tended bar for several Philadelphia restaurants and upon graduation he decided to make the move to New York City. There, he found work with acclaimed restaurateur Keith McNally at Pravda and Balthazar. Ultimately, inspired by McNally’s accomplishments, Devlin decided to open his own restaurant.

Dressler closed in June 2013 amidst a revitalized and thriving Williamsburg restaurant scene, vibrant with competition. It's a vibrancy that in part can be credited to Devlin, who breathed life into a downtrodden and forgotten Brooklyn neighborhood through his honest and well-done homespun cuisine. Devlin lost his life in an apparent suicide in July 2013. He is survived by his wife and two children. Gone too soon, Devlin left an indelible mark on New York dining culture and on the neighborhood he helped make an icon.