The Dempsey Trifecta

The Trifecta


Dempsey’s opened on March 12, 2012 and has served breakfast, lunch and dinner every day since then. However, on April 18, 201, an historic feat was accomplished at Dempsey’s by trailblazer Chris Pasternak. He was the first to complete a registered TRIFECTA at Dempsey’s.


The TRIFECTA is accomplished by having three meals in one day-breakfast, lunch & dinner. And when you have achieved a TRIFECTA, you get your picture on the wall. The TRIFECTA has grown and grown over the shorts years, now there is a TRIFECTIVUS DAY at Dempsey’s, but that’s another post on the blog.


Recently, we ran out of space for the pictures on the TRIFECTA wall because the frames we originally used were too big, so in the process of reframing the original TRIFECTA winner’s pictures, I thought we could give the original trailblazers some props for their support of Dempsey’s.


In absolutely no order, here some of the original 20 + TRIFECTEES:


Chris Pasternak-April 18, 2012-The First

Chris was in town and staying at the Westin. He had been in for breakfast and again at lunch. As I was chatting him up at lunch, he told me that this was his second meal at Dempsey’s. LIGHT BULB-I immediately joked with him that if he came in for dinner he would hit the TRIFECTA and we would put his picture on the wall.


Total bullshit! I just wanted him to come in and spend more money. There was no TRIFECTA. So, that evening, Chris came back to Dempsey’s, had dinner, got his picture taken and with the grace of God, the TRIFECTA became a reality.


Sara Zetts & Jacob Hale-neighbors from the apartments above Dempsey’s and before they moved to California, they got a TRIFECTA on February 24, 2013

Megan Dempsey June 1, 2013

Mark Kaiser & Jonathan Currie-Michigan-July 2014

Laura Pudwell-April 21, 2013-Canadian Opera Atelier-Grammy-Nominated and TRIFECTA winner. After arriving in America and already discovered Dempsey’s for breakfast, on her next visit at lunch, young Conor Dempsey was her server on the patio. She mentioned that she had already been here for breakfast and Conor, being much like his father, encouraged her to come back for dinner so she could get the TRIFECTA and have her picture on the wall. She was immediately excited that before the balance of the Canadian Opera could arrive in Columbus, she could have her picture on the wall. She came in for dinner, got her picture taken and we rushed the process to have her picture on the wall the next day. She then brought almost all the Canadian Opera to Dempsey’s the next day. Not because of the fantastic food but to show off her picture on the wall.

Hillary & Lily Roa-Sarasota, Florida-June 3, 2012

Chuck Williams-June 3, 2012

Nels Johnson & Ellen Marshall-June 3, 2012

You might have noticed the last three TRIFECTA winners were on the same day in 2012. Columbus Arts Festival weekend! What a weekend and Arts Festival weekend continues to be one of our busiest weekends in the summer. Daughter Michaela Dempsey was tasked with delivering carry-out menus to the 300+ art vendors on a Friday. Her efforts made Dempsey’s “home base” for many of the vendors.  Three TRIFECTA’s that weekend, from three states but from one festival.

Pat Graham-official NOT a TRIFECTA winner but over-achieve and ate FIVE meals in a short 36 hour stay in Columbus from Florida-we don’t have the date because I can’t remember those 36 hours but he had the receipts to prove it.

Ralph Antolino-October 7, 2012

Celia Dempsey-February 2, 2014

Hilliard City Councilman Joe Erb-July 21, 2014

Kirsten Bildsten-July 14, 2014-Exiting employee wanted to get the TRIFECTA before moving out of town

A Dempsey Family-Uncle Jim Dempsey, Aunt Diane Dempsey and cousin Debbie Dempsey-March 12, 2013

Lewis fucking Black-March 1, 2013. This probably my best TRIFECTA story to date. So, it’s a busy lunch at Dempsey’s and I’m the expo at the kitchen window. Expo is a restaurant term used to expedite the food delivery to customers from the kitchen.  Standing at the host stand is a single gentleman that had not been greeted by the busy staff and I’m looking at him and thought to myself, that looks like Lewis Black. Restaurant is full and NO ONE seems to recognize him. I go to the host stand to greet him and introduce myself. Very excited. I take Mr. Black to a table near the kitchen so I can personally take his order. We chat a little and get his order. I continue to expo during his meal. Still, NO ONE has recognized him but me. At one point, I interrupted his meal and say to him, “it seems unusual that your so calm because I’ve seen you Comedy Central and usually ranting & raving about something”, he pauses from reading his NY Times and USA Today paper, glasses have down his nose and eyes glaring at me above his glasses and says “it’s my fucking act, I would be dead if I kept that constant rage”. We chuckled, talked a little more and he offered me tickets to his show that night. My wife Megan and I went to the show, went back stage and met him. He came back for dinner with his crew and opening act. Some regulars at Dempsey’s got some pictures that night and Lewis Black and I became friends. He came back the next day, before leaving town and had breakfast with me. He’s now considered a regular at Dempsey’s. TRIFECTA confession: Lewis never ate three meals in one day. He ate three meals in two days but they were the only three meals he had in Columbus AND he tweeted his experience to over 100,000 Twitter followers. I now bend the rules for a TRIFECTA if you have over 100,000 Twitter followers (Taylor Twellman-ESPN and Kathleen Madigan-comedian but for another blog post)

Arron & Mark-October 28, 2012

Jack O’Grady-February 18, 2014 for his 17th birthday present from dad Commissioner John O’Grady

Wendell Seaver-March 31, 2015

Cathy Martin, South Hampton, Massachusetts – September 22, 2014

Art Konrad-September 21, 2014, South Hampton, Massachusetts

Mike & Jim, South Hampton, Massachusetts

The last the TRIFECTA winners were in town for a wedding and just had a blast at Dempsey’s with a large group of family members

Ryan Studer & Andy Whaley-March 17, 2014-a superior TRIFECTA because Andy & Ryan never left Dempsey’s for their TRIFECTA. It is not required you stay at Dempsey’s the entire day for your three meals but they did. It was St. Patrick’s Day and to stay at Dempsey’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner on St. Patrick’s Day is quite a feat. Note: Andy recently married our niece Sara and part of the courting process was the gauntlet of a TRIFECTA.


There you have, some of the first TRIFECTA winners that had framed pictures at Dempsey’s. There pictures will be re-installed in smaller frames so we have more wall space for the continued TRIFECTA winners.


Thank you trail blazers for your support of Dempsey’s as we get ready to celebrate our 5th year in business this coming March.


On a side note, when you finish the TRIFECTA, it’s customary that you get your picture with a staff member wearing a Dempsey’s shirt. I noticed as we’re changing the frames on these first 20+ pictures that none of the employees in this round of TRIFECTA pictures work at Dempsey’s now. So, thanks to Conor Dempsey, Grace Bowen, Heather Ross-Yates and Sara Clavert for working at Dempsey’s and getting your pictures on the wall too.

A Wedding Story

Being the father of five children, four of them daughters, at some point I always knew that four weddings were very distinctly in my future. And as tradition has it, the parents of the bride foot the bill. Luckily, I have a set of skills that allow me to do a wedding, and especially the reception, at cost.

Recently though, my second daughter’s wedding exceeded any parent’s expectations on a variety of levels. Allow me to digress to some background.

Our second daughter, we'll call her Celia because that's her name, had a boyfriend. We'll call him Geff, because that's his name. And, no, it's not spelled wrong. Geff once asked my permission to marry Celia and I very politely recommended that he wait to marry my daughter.  That was five years and two kids ago. Luckily for all of us, Rowan and Logan came along anyway.

So, young Logan, was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma (an aggressive brain tumor) at 17 months old in February 2016. He had surgery to remove a large tumor and continued with chemotherapy treatments for 6 months and was released from the hospital in August. We threw a big party to celebrate.

Awesome! Celia and Geff can continue their wedding plans. Not so fast......young Logan develops another brain tumor and is admitted to Nationwide Children's Hospital the day after Thanksgiving. The cancerous tumors spread throughout his brain and down his spine. A second brain surgery is immediately scheduled and the largest of the tumors is removed. The other tumors were inoperable and are being treated with chemotherapy and going in the right direction, for the most part.

Now comes the wedding.

Celia And Geff decide that they should not wait until 2018 to get married. Since Logan, and the parents are somewhat trapped in the hospital, they decided to get married at the chapel within the hospital.

Now if you've ever been involved in planning a wedding, there are more details that you can shake a stick at. Technically, all I must do is walk the bride down the aisle. So, because I didn't want to get in the middle of the various details because of the other issues surrounding the hospital wedding, I mainly stood on the sidelines. 

So, the bride has her sisters and mother readying themselves at our Downtown apartment and my only job is to Uber the bride to hospital and walk her down the aisle. All the other details were handled by the bride and family.

Now here is where we get to some morals of this story. Because Logan is in a delicate condition, only family members could be in attendance. Because of this, only parents of the bride and groom, grandparents, two great grandparents and siblings are the only invitees. Remember that young Logan has been in a hospital room for over a month, even for Christmas, and none of the attendees have seen Logan. Including his older brother, we'll call him Rowan, because that's his name.

A wedding with only the people that really NEED to be there. No guest list to create or pare down. Just all the people in your life that matter, no disrespect to all others.

A very touching way to celebrate the sacrament of marriage. Logan and Rowan in their superhero bow ties, Geff the Groom in a white shirt and superhero tie. Very simple and quite touching. Along comes the beautiful bride, up a flight of stairs from the outer area of the cafeteria (our staging area) through a long walk through a hospital lobby. Through an enchanted forest area and wood sculptures of various rabbits and squirrels.

The bride arrives at the chapel and a brief but impactful ceremony ensues. At one point, Logan needs some attention and is lifted from his wagon by his father and the ceremony continues with Logan safely over Geff's shoulder.

Bride and Groom leave the chapel and must return to their Multifunctional Downtown Loft Apartment, aka Logan's hospital room. Mother of the Bride, we'll call her Megan because that's her name, snaps a picture of the family, less Rowan, going back to the reality of Logan's challenge with cancer.

I’ll finish by saying that a father walking a daughter down the aisle on her wedding day is one of the most emotional and honorable things a father can do. I can't be more proud of the way these two newlyweds have dealt with Logan's challenges and managed to get married in the middle of it all.

Oh yeah, the reception ended up in the back room of Dempsey's while oldest and already married sister, we'll call her Allison because that's her name, tended to Logan in his hospital room.

Thank you, Celia and Geff for being my superheroes on your wedding day.


(We’ll call me Dad because that’s my name)


How a good day goes slowly downhill...

Opening Dempsey's is usually a very fun and easy task. You set the tables, make the coffee, get televisions set to appropriate channels, get some ice and some other small details. BOOM! In no time, you're ready to serve our fantastically loyal customers.

Now, as an owner, I can accomplish almost all tasks at Dempsey's. Just enough to be effective for the operations of the restaurant. And as the opener today, Sunday, July 17th, I was very comfortable with the first few tables on the patio just after 8 am. Even the fourth table within one hour I was fine being by myself and service was acceptable and fun.

It was the three tables that arrive within four minutes of each other and sat inside that started to concern me, "am I in trouble, will this be my demise for a good day". The answer was a big NO! The scheduled server showed up just when she was needed. She took the two tables NOT touched within the first two minutes of arrival.

This set me back on the successful path for serving. Getting caught up and ahead of the game, new customers arrive and the server and I work as an effective team. Stay with me readers, this isn't quite the feel good story you might be thinking.

Strumming along with great success, our three employees in the kitchen providing fast and delicious product, the other two servers arrive just as we start getting full. And just before a scheduled party of 25 show up. All is good. Success is within reach. Here's where it turns. Maybe about 10 am at this point.

The 25 person reservation turns into about 45 and the competent server is now in need of help. As the group continues to grow and is being handled quite well, even with the main dining humming with satisfied guests. As more guests arrive and most of the servers are on pace but starting to show a slight "we need some help" attitude, the next employee is late for their shift. Damn. Only about 15 minutes but could have made a difference.

In addition, an employee sees some guests waiting at the hostess stand and decides that instead of holding off seating them until the restaurant is "caught up", they decide to seat three tables that should been asked to wait about ten or fifteen minutes for per open service. Okay, let's get through this. I assigned tables to two servers that could handle the prematurely seated guests and I took charge of the kitchen to ensure food coming out as fast as possible.

Reading the food orders and checking the times of the tickets, we're about ten to twelve minutes behind on ticket times. In human terms that's 20 minutes. Let the "expo begin". Barking out directions to three cooks and three servers can be a daunting task. Please no talking except by the expo. The expo controls what each cook is preparing in a certain time frame and getting the servers on course for proper and timely delivery of the fantastic food from Dempsey's.

All is going very well with the prematurely seated guests, the ever growing back room party and the other customers. However, just as the NEXT large reservation begins to arrive for the NEXT party in the back room, THE FIRE ALALRM GOES OFF!

Now my time as the expo has to be turned to ensuring everyone is safe. Of course it is a false alarm but the blinking strobes and very loud alarm needs my attention NOW. Let the chaos begin. Fire Department shows up, even after being notified that this is a false alarm.

I really should mention that this alarm is not just in the confines of Dempsey's four walls. Six neighbors that live in apartments are hearing the same blaring noise and unexpected light show from the strobes. Not being a good neighbor. And oh yeah, the fire department has to forcibly open a business next door to Dempsey's to gain access to main alarm panel. Will the madness ever end.

So, the Fire Department cannot get the alarm reset and our alarm vendor is on the way to help. The hero of the day shows up, disconnects the fire alarm and Dempsey's (and neighbors) becomes a quite place. Please wait for your sigh of relief, all of this activity has shut down the HVAC in the back room of Dempsey's. No recourse to get it started either.

The very patient and gracious second group continues their baby shower with great success. What wonderful guests under these conditions. Now they may have stayed longer and drank a little more if the room was comfortable but they ate, they gifted the expectant mother and they left. Somewhat understanding and happy.

So, with all these comedy of errors occurring in matter of 45 minutes at Dempsey's today, we hope that those customers that may have had negative experience, especially first timers, please go easy on your reviews of Dempsey's. It just wasn't an ordinary day at Dempsey's and I hope you understand we tried to do what we could with what was actually happening behind the scenes and in plain view.

Give me a break on any social media reviews for an off day.


Mark Dempsey

Campaign Tactics Hit Rock Bottom

Being involved in a local campaign for the Democratic Central Committee in Franklin County, representing Grandview , has been nothing but interesting. However, my opponent's supporters have gotten way out of line.

In 2010, I found myself unemployed and was not interested in returning to the customary workforce. So I asked my wife Megan if she would mind that instead of taking another job she would allow me to open a restaurant and CREATE jobs. Just like it was when she and I met in 1988.

Dempsey’s was born with every penny, dime and nickel we had. And with some help from a few investors and one partner, we labored and opened in March of 2012. Creating over 20 full & part time jobs.

My opponent's supporter, a Grandview resident and parent, decided to chime in on the Grandview Central Committee race by sharing that we are in the process of a possible foreclosure. Now he may think this type of information is useful but it’s really just a feeble attempt to paint a negative picture.

Every parent wants to provide a better life for their children and keep them safe. These recent reflections on my distressed home situation had been shielded from my five children, all of whom benefited from a wonderful Grandview education, but were protected from this until some supporter of my opponent felt it was necessary to share.

Well, thanks for taking the time share this with everyone and I hope it satisfies you. I hope that if and when you open a business, create jobs, struggle with the  balancing act with taxes, payroll, utilities and the daily juggling with limited resources, the same does not happen to you. I sure won’t be the first to share it with the public. Or your children.

In addition to his comments about my home, he spoke of my residency in Grandview. Unfortunate timing for the re-election process but it is what it is. My legal residence is in Grandview. My voting address is in Grandview. My tax bills represent a Grandview address. My utility bills are in Grandview. So until I sell the house, that’s just the way it is. Oh yeah, we have an apartment downtown now because I work so much AND we knew we wouldn’t be in the house past 2016.

And then this guy goes onto talking about my friendship with John Raphael. You might know of John because he is the lobbyist involved with the red-camera issue. I sure hope none of this guy’s friends ever do anything wrong. True friends don’t judge. I stand by my friends until they lie to me or do harm to my family. John has done neither and has “owned up” to whatever he is being charged with.  So get over yourself. You should see some of the names of people that wrote letters in support of John’s character, especially the ones from the clergy. Trying not to call my opponent’s supporter a derogatory name right now. Oh yeah, Melissa Barnhart is the ONLY candidate in this race that has been investigated and interrogated by the FBI. No charges though. She was still my friend through that process, by the way.

So then this guy starts ranting about yard signs. I took a picture with me, my yard sign and the illegal yard sign in Melissa Barnhart’s front yard. Comparing the two. I’ll admit that hers is bigger than mine. There, I said it. However, after the picture was posted on Facebook with #markdempsey, Melissa felt harassed. Now, when you run for political office, you lose just a little of your privacy. She had no signs posted for No Solicitors. Volunteers knocking on doors, dropping literature and beyond go into yards all the time.

I got a call from the Grandview Police Department later that night. No worries, I explained the situation, corrected some misinformation and moved on.

And, the Melissa Barnhart's supporter never mentioned that the huge sign in Melissa’s front yard is in violation of Grandview’s Zoning code. She claims Freedom of Speech but you still have to stay within the boundaries of the Zoning Code. Why not just paint your entire house with a billboard?!

However, Melissa Barnhart and Sheriff Zach Scott, or their supporters, continue to place multiple signs on the currently vacant Grandview Café building. So with the knowledge that the owners of the property did not give them permission, the signs were removed by me. As of yesterday, more signs have appeared and I have the owner’s representatives written permission to remove signs from the building.

This guy said I had “thugs” working for my campaign. What a moronic statement. I don’t need thugs, I grew up on the Southside of Columbus. I can handle myself and my own issues.

And speaking of this Facebook post from this Melissa Barnhart supporter, one person posted a comment basically telling my wife to have a cup of “shut the hell up”. WELL I HAVE A LITTLE INFORMATION FOR THAT PERSON. YOU CAN TALK TO ME ANYWAY YOU WANT BUT YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR TONE WHEN ADDRESSING MY WIFE OR MY CHILDREN. You cross a line when you disrespect my family. Feel free to track me down because I’m pretty easy to find. I work a lot of hours downtown keeping a business open that creates jobs.

What did you do today, build something? Help the poor? Volunteer somewhere?

I am NOT angry or frustrated with anyone's personal opinion, just disappointed that a great neighborhood like Grandview could have such a negative campaign tactic used in the discourse for public office. Don’t worry Trump is going to make America great again.


Thoughts On America & Green Season

It's been too long between blogs and there has been plenty to blog about. So I apologize for the delay. As if you even care. So before Trump makes America great again, let me blog about how great it already is!

In November of 2015, the City of Columbus overwhelmingly elected Andrew Ginther for Mayor. But not by the margin some had expected which ended up being a huge benefit to Mark Dempsey. I just love the side bets on campaign results.

Since then, the Republican and Democratic Party are in desperate tailspins to regain their identity with the American people. However, on a local level of Democratic politics, it's even more questionable.

A Democratic slate was endorsed that DID NOT include three incumbents. Interesting in and of itself and each of the non-endorsed incumbents have only themselves to blame, for the most part. All decent people and friends of mine but I finally had to draw a line and I FINALLY agreed with the leadership of the Democratic Party on this decision, even though it has been difficult.

On an even lower level of politics that nobody cares about, or to some degree even knew of, the county party Central Committee has a ground swell of opposition to long-standing members. Now this is extremely fucking amazing because Democrats have been dominating elections in recent years, on a county-wide level.

Some of the candidates opposing incumbents were truly misled and recruited under false pretenses. Dirty fucking pool in my book. If you can't excite or convince someone on merit of ideas or opportunity and you have to deceive people, you've already lost.

So fuck them! Game on bitches. And I still consider them friends but it's March and in a matter of days, a new and improved Democratic Party will arise in Franklin County and hopefully maintain a positive presence in local politics to build people up and stop the madness of negative rhetoric.

This is what America is all about, democracy and choice to vote on people to lead. Many have failed us and many have succeeded. With the Central Committee races across Franklin County, truth will prevail and those who win their elections will be tasked with maintaining a vibrant and inclusive party. Easier said than done but with faith, all things are possible.

Allow me to continue my rant!

I respect opposition. Truthful, thoughtful and direct opposition is not a bad thing. It makes us better and it's always good to have choices. But deceitful, unlawful and negative activities will gain the exact same outcome. Failed political bodies that only care about themselves, their position or their pocket books. I just can't believe that Gov. John Kasich looks like a viable candidate on a national level but everyone hits rock bottom sometimes. The Governor is probably a nice man and I've never met him but he is one of the only adults on a stage of potential leadership for the free world.

As for the National Democratic choices and since the Irishman, O'Mally is out, we have two thoughtful and respected candidates viewing to be the nominee. Wouldn't it be great if Bernie Sanders asked Hillary Clinton if he could be her running mate as Vice President. President Clinton and Vice President Sanders would the most diverse ticket in the history of the world. There Trump, just like that, America shows her greatness without your reality show type campaign. Substance, thorough ideas, revolutionary reform for the masses and not just the millionaires.

If it were just that easy. Trump just landed in Columbus at the writing of this diatribe of thoughts continues. Let's get to important stuff.

As March begins, we think of the celebration Spring, the rising of a Savior and the veneration of St. Patrick, also known as St. Patrick's Day.

Here at Dempsey's, this is not a one day celebration. We celebrate once a month at Dempsey's with a practice session so you rookies learn to celebrate responsibly. Now, this March it will be Dempsey's fourth year in celebrating as an establishment with Irish roots. The following is an attempt for all to get involved and REALLY learn it's not about the drinking, it's about the camaraderie, it's about our faith (Protestant or Catholic), it's about the Irish contribution to keeping America great.

Last Saturday we had our Celtic neighbors in the house with some Scottish dancers and pipers. Great stuff but the day, or month in my book, is about the Irish. So after this weekend of the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Dempsey's will provide ample opportunity to indulge in the Irish.

Let's start with Thursday, March 10th. This is Jamie Porter Day! If you don't know, it doesn't matter. Conway's Irish Ale will be the drink of choice. Tom Jones, Sinatra or Sleepy La Beef will be our entertainment and the short celebration will be a well-earned victory for our surviving friend, Jamie Porter.

On Friday, March 11th, a uniquely Columbus event will occur. I think it make be the 50th anniversary of this event. Started solely by a few Irishmen stopping by City Hall to get a signed resolution by the Mayor of Columbus. Now, 50 years later, we celebrate all day starting with a Catholic Mass, giving donations to charity and getting recognition from City, County, State and Federal officials at City Hall, stopping traffic at Broad & High to plant (paint) Shamrocks and then an afternoon of festive behavior.

It's the St. Patrick's Day for the very active Irish Community members that are busy on the real day with a parade, Mass, hosting the largest Irish celebration in Central Ohio-known as the Irish Family Reunion. Hard core Irish, if you will. Dempsey's will be a key component of this celebration. Great music and singing, bagpipes and all! Get here early.

We continue on Saturday, March 12th with the After-Party for the Columbus Police & Fire Pipes & Drums. The Acoustic Cougar Magnets will be performing live at 8 pm. not too Irish. However, the Shamrock Club Pipes & Drums will play around 7 and the Police & Fire around 11 pm. Fucking intense.

Sunday, March 13th, enjoy the Bloody Mary Bar until 1 pm, you'll need it.

On March 16th, we have two Irish to the core events. Politics & Pints, hosted by Mike Thompson from Columbus on the Record, WOSU tv show and a fund raiser for a politician in the back room. Fuck yes. I love this shit.

We will all be properly prepared for the Patron Saint of Ireland's feast day celebration on Thursday, March 17th. Dempsey's will open early for the Emerald Society and to the public at 7 am with breakfast buffet and live entertainment by the Old Brigade until 10 am. Mass at St. Patrick's Church and I just love being back at St. Pat's and I think my ancestors appreciate it too!

Parade at 11:30 and Irish Family Reunion after the parade. The largest gathering in Central Ohio for the Irish Community, and beyond. By the way, Brian Ross from Experience Columbus and Don Brown from the convention center have been absolutely wonderful about our transition to this venue. I still call it the Irish Family Reunion at Vets, though.

Dempsey's will have Shepherds Pie, Corned Beef & Cabbage and entertainment with the McIans from 1 to 5 and Donna Magavero throughout the evening.

So there Mr. Trump and all other negative ninnies, America is great despite your efforts to portray it otherwise.




Many decades ago, in my formative years, I worked at Deibel's in German Village.  Now it's Barcelona and a great restaurant.  Deibel's was a hot spot at the time and German Village wasn't quite as sophisticated as it is now, culinary wise.  The locals, Schmidt's (actual cousins of mine)' Planks, etc., were all doing well. 

Quite often, I would watch owner/management of these establishments casually meet after their respective lunch rushes and discuss business over a beer or a Coke.  It wasn't until I purchased a catering company and now, opening Dempsey's, that I could commiserate, give or take advice, conspire or whatever with contemporaries in the industry.  Being in Downtown Columbus right now is extremely exciting from the continued development or demise of local food operations. And I enjoy attempting to support the new neighbors, the Walrus, Big Room Bar at CD102, Aerapazo, Copius and the old jury room (now THE Blind Lady Tavern) when I have the time to visit.  It's not just to see the competition but to meet the owners/managers and possibly discuss challenges, obstacles and opportunities in operating a downtown food business. I really like getting to know the different menus, drinks, concepts and new staff building a business. Someday soon, we'll all be working in a thriving area, something like the beginning of the Short North or Grandview Avenue, etc.


An Irish Tale....

Out of the blue and in a moments notice your world can change. Just like that, one day you're lamenting or even happy about your life and then someone you know well experiences a loss or serious illness. THEN you really start to ponder your life. Life can literally turn on a dime.

In the Irish Community and probably other communities, we celebrate a passing of life with a wake. This is a get together of family and friends to enjoy a meal and often some drinks in memorial to the recently departed. Some wakes are somber and some are sober. The really good wakes are neither. The Irish celebrate life in the grandest way of all - family, friends, tears, laughter, and, if you're lucky, a little Irish dancing. 

Which brings me to the recent wake of my good friend's wife, Anne Hinton Porter. Now some names are going to have to be with held because of position or careers but none the less this wake will go down in history of one of the best wakes. Others that were memorable were for John Lane, Roxanne McSweeney, Charlie Mentel, Murt Byrne and of course, when Coleman pulled out of the Governors race, but I'll save that for another blog.

Anne is the wife of an old friend of mine, Jamie Porter (you may recognize the name because Dempsey's has an annual Jamie Porter Day and he deserves it). She unexpectedly left us at an early age, leaving two young daughters and a HUGE family.  Anne was a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin, aunt and friend. Those lucky enough to know her admired her acerbic wit, which was usually directed squarely at her husband. "Jamie Porter Day?! EVERY day is Jamie Porter Day.", she said as she rolled her eyes upon hearing of JPD. Anne enjoyed a good party with her family and friends and she would have loved every second of the send-off held in her honor. Boy, was it a doozie. 

After a few hours into the wake, I noticed one guest (name withheld) dancing with several women to "Dancing Queen" or something along that line. He wasn't just dancing in the middle of a gaggle of women but was singing the song. I told him he can keep his badge and gun but his man card had to confiscated. It was just deflating to watch.

Now here is something I missed. This same individual that had his man card revoked and brother in law to Anne, Mike Gast, had a Mick Jagger "Jag off". Dancing to a Rolling Stones song and imitating Mick Jagger type moves. Rumor has it, the Jag Off was incredible. I can't really comment on how much entertainment was actually provided but I can recant this story.

Mike gets home and after the first bite of his much needed sandwich proclaimed "I don't care what you say, I won the Jag Off" Well, my friend, I will have to say that as you enjoyed your sandwich and immediately passed out, the other competitor went to work special duty. So in terms of stamina (a trait of Mick Jagger himself) you lose the Jag Off. 

How did I miss this make-shift Dancing with the Stars episode? I volunteered to drive an over served elder home to German Village. Mr. M needed a ride home around 4 pm and they got him to my car. As soon as we left the wake, we began singing Irish rebel songs (Johnson's Motor Car and The Moonshiner) Unfortunately after two songs, the elder Mr. M decided he needed a nap. 

Upon arrival at his home, the wife, Mrs. M, was waiting at the door. Now this wonderful woman is straight off the boat Irish and was not pleased that I brought an impaired Mr. M home. The look on her face was quite intimidating. I have to admit I was a bit concerned for my safety. She immediately said, "Why did you bring him here?" and I replied "He lives here, where was I supposed to take him?" The exchange continued until I asked permission to take Mr. M inside the house. 

Mrs. M begrudgingly allowed her husband and I access to the home.  In a stern manner, Mrs M said, "Take him to his room" and because I was concerned about getting a beating, I complied. Actually he ended up in his bathroom and I went back downstairs. I received another tongue lashing for NOT taking him to his room and asked permission to leave. Not their first rodeo in this arena, I presume. 

Upon return to the wake, I find two cousins of the departed speaking with Mrs. Dempsey. Standing directly behind the two Moriarity Brothers, I could hear they were being complimentary but forward with Mrs. Dempsey. Convienently, a large trash dumpster was right next to me and near the two Moriaritys. They turned around and I instruct one of them to get into the dumpster. Not complying with my request, I lifted him and placed him in the dumpster for being forward with Mrs. Dempsey. He was taken off-guard from inside the dumpster and asked to be removed. I asked him to say please and he complied, so did I. 

Then I found the recent widows, Karen Young's, old bike in the driveway and thought it would be a good idea for a bike ride around the Eastmoor neighborhood. Not doing too much bike riding and certainly not knowing the area, I rode away. Friendly neighborhood, I must say. Just about everyone was waving and/or saying hello. Maybe they were laughing or trying to warn me of traffic but friendly to me. After a while, I realized I was lost on this borrowed bike but just kept riding. Suddenly, I look up and I'm back at the wake. No idea how that happen or how I did not get injured but I will give it up to guardian angels watching my back.

This type of activity continued with Irish Whiskey and a lot of beer. Many times varied guests breaking out into Irish Step dancing, toasts, tears, laughter and celebration for Anne, her children and husband. 

One of the best wakes this decade. Jamie Porter, my condolences for your horrific loss but your family & friends sent Anne off in style. Please share your stories from the wake on on this blog. 

From that we celebrate our Irish Culture every month on the 17th at Dempsey's and this Wednesday the 17th, we have the McIans playing until 8 or 9, Shepherd's Pie special and happy hour starting at 3pm. Let's make another day of it for those who cannot join us in person. 

Pride weekend, Comfest, Red, White & Boom and Doo Dah all coming soon, so come down to Dempsey's during these celebrations and make us part of your good times and lasting memories. Who knows, maybe we'll have a day named for you. 


The Latest @ Dempsey's

It's Official

We celebrated Memorial Day with a patio kickoff on Sunday night with just enough Dempsey's and the right amount of friends and visitors from New Mexico. Following with daily specials on Monday with an All American meat product, SPAM! We ate like soldiers as we honor their service to America.

So now it's officially summer and we can wear white pants. Outdoor concerts, festivals, Fourth of July parades, especially the Doo Dah Parade, Irish music festivals and all things outdoors. So remember Dempsey's when attending a concert at Bicentennial Park or Columbus Commons, before or after. Great parking and only a block or two walk to the show. Beat the traffic with a cool drink or meal that won't break the bank.

Events & Marketing Directer, Heather Yates will be making sure we have some entertainment throughout the summer and keeping tabs on the multiple parties being planned in Dempsey's back room. Heather was recently married to Dempsey's original Executive Chef, Noah Yates, this month and we're glad to have her back from the wedding planning frenzy.

New Chef Lincoln Workman has been splitting his time between Dempsey's kitchen and Dempsey's Catering & Event services. We have a recent addition to our arsenal of catering locations with The Northland Performing Arts Center; A hidden jewel off Morse Road for some great concerts and events.

And let's not forget the popular Columbus Arts Festival; when Dempsey's comes alive with a plethora of artisans from across the country enjoy a respite in between long days working their individual booths for three days straight. What a life.

Oh yeah, there still some political campaigns going on.....thought it was over in the primary, not quite. Looking forward to all the campaign meetings, fund raisers and propaganda. I'm sure there are some salacious and ridiculous commercials and bombshells yet to drop. Good stuff!

Primary Elections & Happenings @ Dempsey's

Primary Elections-an opportunity to declare your party status and weed out candidates. Two candidates will prevail in the Columbus Mayoral race to move onto the General Election in November. Most likely, Columbus will have two Democrats to choose from in the general election. Fortunately, both are regulars at Dempsey's. However, for the Democratic base of customers at Dempsey's, it's game on, no holds bar street fight until the end. We lost civility a long time ago and it's really unfortunate.

For the Republican base of customers at Dempsey's, they will enjoy the feeding frenzy and money spent between two Democrats, which is money not spent against a Republican. They'll smile all the way to the elected office.

May also brings Mother's Day, the Race for the Cure and the opening of Columbus Commons activities. All will be celebrated equally at Dempsey's with our casual patio for event spectators. We've decided that Dempsey's will be the unofficial finish line for all downtown races. Our motto, "The 4K Stops Here!"

We're getting some new neighbors here in the Southside of Downtown. The Walrus, just around the corner on Main Street. Soon we'll be able to host a neighbor pub golf tour. I'm sure the DRAC group will be on board.

Looking forward to "blogging" on our new website and who knows what intimate details we'll be sharing from the Dempsey's Corner perspective.

Mound & High Perspective

Welcome to our new Dempsey's Corner blog. We're excited about our new website, recently updated menu and this forum to express what's happening at Dempsey's Food & Spirits and some special commentary from our persepctive on a myriad of topics. Topics such as downtown development, new downtown restaurants, insight & perspective of local politicians, Dempsey's guests of note, like our regular, Lewis Black and maybe some special guest blog material.


Currently in world news at Dempsey's Corner, Sunday, April 12th is Election Day at the Shamrock Club of Columbus. The Shamrock Club of Columbus was established in 1936 to venerate St. Patrick by hosting a Mass and Parade in Columbus on March 17th every year.


Our own, Mark Dempsey, is running for Secretary (again) against some formidable opponets. Election Day at the Shamrock Club is for members only and boasts FREE beer during the election (noon to 3:00 pm) for voters. Could you imagine if voting in America garnered FREE beer? The turnout would be awesome but in most states an 18 year old can vote, go to war and sign contracts but can't drink.


Dempsey's Food & Spirits will be hosting a band on Sunday, April 12th at 5:00 pm, Six Pack Theory. A great Sunday Night at Dempsey's for all those Cops & Firefighters off work on Monday, the Shamrock Club winners & losers of the election and the growing downtown population. Not to mention the plethora of restaurant employees that have toiled all week/weekend to make Columbus a GREAT scene for socialites.  Make sure to mark your Calendar for this Sunday @ Dempsey's.


Looking forward to some robust commentary, Spring & Summer activities kicking into high gear and continued insight to local business leaders and political stories to come on Dempsey's Corner blog.