For several years, East Meadow residents have considered l a second home - somewhere to watch the game, gather with friends or unwind after a hard day's work.
On Wednesday, all that changed. Dempsey's opened its doors one final time to bid farewell to their beloved customers and enjoy one last night filled with good times and good friends.
Owners Brian Hurdus and Jay Kemet took over Dempsey's in September 2005 and officially owned the bar in early 2008. Hurdus said he is sad to see the era of Dempsey's come to an end, but expressed how very grateful he is for the support the establishment has received over the years.
"It's a sign of the times," said Hurdus. "We lost a little bit of business and it was always huge overhead to begin with. In the last three years, we did outlast over 20 different bars and restaurants in the area, but my overhead is still a lot to keep up with."
Before stepping up to buy the bar, Hurdus worked in Dempsey's for several years, making the transition to owner much easier.
"I inherited customers that turned into a lot of friends." he said. "All of our patrons have been fantastic. They became a part of my life and I became a part of theirs."
Dempsey's offered unbeatable promotions that kept customers coming back - whether it was singing at karaoke night, an all-you-can-drink special or football and wings.
Katie Johnston, 24, felt it was important to come out one last time and say goodbye. A lifelong East Meadow resident, Johnston considers Dempsey's to be a staple of the community.
"I spent my 21st birthday here - I've been coming here for years," she said. "I'm going to miss all the familiar faces."
Gavin Shanahan, also an East Meadow resident, spent four years behind the bar and saw a family grow as Dempsey's developed.
"This is upsetting - it's a place where everyone could just come meet," Shanahan explained. "The customer base was always great. We saw a really good group of people - all different walks of life."