Past and Future Success
By Matt McSweeny
It seems like just yesterday that my partner and friend Dennis Hartman and I were approached by Vince Markese, our future Downtown Arcadia landlord. He had purchased the building we had our eyes on at 145 E. Huntington Dr. in beautiful Arcadia and wanted us to open our restaurant there. We signed our lease in September of 1997.
Earlier that year, Dennis and I had lost out on a building in Monrovia and we were bummed. Then it all started to happen. I remember bringing my Dad to this beat up property. I think there were pigeons flying around inside when we opened the door. I tried to explain our vision. The bar will go here, the restaurant part will go here, and we will have the patio here. My Dad looked around and said with a twinkle in his eye, this is going to take a lot of work! He then said what do you two need? I said Fifty Thousand will get us going. Done he said.
Well, I will tell you it has been one hell of a ride. We were blessed to have landed in Arcadia. We knew we had to build deep roots and get involved with our new city and community if we wanted to be successful. I cannot thank everyone in Arcadia and the surrounding communities enough for supporting Matt Denny’s like they have. What a wonderful city government, police and fire departments, chamber of commerce, school system, and just genuine great people.
I think back on early days, and remember that many of my current staff was in diapers or in grade school when we first opened. My son Jake used to be with me during construction in his car seat. My daughter Shannon was born eight months after our grand opening. It makes me laugh. In fact, we have been blessed to have watched many of our customers grow their families, become friends, and become like family to many of us.
The decision to sell Matt Denny’s was a very tough one. There was much discussion between my wife Pam and I. I’ve been in the restaurant business for 30 years now and have had a blast. I was also able to coach many of my kid’s sports teams, be really involved in their schools and with my church Holy Angels. But it is now time to transfer Matt Denny’s over to someone with new energy. Long Nguyen will be the new owner. He wants to keep Matt Denny’s as it is and also bring new ideas to enhance the deep root system that has been established in this wonderful community.
So, to all our friends that have supported Matt Denny’s over our 19 years in Arcadia, we want to say Thank You from the bottom of our hearts. Cheers to you all and see you at this year’s St. Baldrick’s and St. Patrick’s Day events!