By Monica Sanchez
Matt Denny’s, a popular grub hub in Arcadia, has been in business since 1999 and the brains behind the operation is owner Matt McSweeny. Family man and craft beer enthusiast, McSweeny, found his passion for serving craft beer delights and food to match during his 10 years of experience in a Pasadena brewery. But he’s not only passionate about serving up great dining experience because, more importantly, McSweeny cares about people.
Matt Denny’s motto is “Just a few friends,” a line from a Jimmy Buffet song called “A Pirate Looks at Forty.” “This place is kind of like a Cheers atmosphere,” said McSweeny, “a place where everyone comes in and people know your name.”
McSweeny is proud to have served generations of Arcadia citizens, having done “a lot of catering, a lot weddings and rehearsal dinners and celebrations of life and work with the school district.” He is particularly thankful for the people who have supported him along the way. “I love my staff. Without them, we wouldn’t be here.” And he also enjoys “getting to know people and their families” who come into his establishment.
“Being involved in the community is really key,” emphasized Matt McSweeny, who has been actively involved with groups like St Baldrick’s and the Rotary Club, the Arcadia Chamber, the Arcadia Downtown Business Association, and other community groups, such as the Bond Measure A Oversight Committee.
As a member of the board and president appointee of the Arcadia Downtown Business Association for the last several years, McSweeny is eager to bring more people to Arcadia in order to discover the charm and treasures the city has to offer. McSweeny said that “things aren’t evolving as fast as we want them to” with plans for growing consumerism in Downtown Arcadia, but “things are starting to happen with the gold line.”
“We tried to revitalize the downtown, which has been a challenge,” said McSweeny, but he is excited about new businesses that will open up with the completion of the Wheeler Project.
Working towards revitalizing Downtown Arcadia may be a challenge because McSweeny said that California is a challenging state to be a business owner in, with the rise of minimum wage causing business owners like himself to raise prices for consumers. However, his advice to small business owners to succeed in California involves “being positive, being active in the community, [and] getting to know everyone in the city.” McSweeny believes that as a business owner “you got to keep your finger on the pulse of the business,” and an owner should always “be able to react quickly to different challenges that may come up.”
Above all, McSweeny’s style includes not being an absentee owner. McSweeny said that he’s “had a blast and every day I come in with a bounce in my step. I dig the whole thing.”
Matt Denny’s: great craft beer, delicious food, and an owner who cares about the people he’s serving. Arcadia is excited to see how Matt Denny’s will continue to serve the city and the community in the near future.
Matt Denny’s is located at 145 East Huntington Drive, Arcadia, CA 91006. View a map and get directions.