Page 7 - BusinessWest May 2, 2022
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 and music venue,’ with ‘restaurant coming first for a reason. Opened almost a year ago, Dewey’s was obviously conceived
and launched before and then during the pandemic, although Lumpkin admits that he’s been working on bringing this concept from the drawing board to reality for many years now. And since it is a product of the pandemic, the business plan for Dewey’s has been revised ... well, Lumpkin doesn’t know how many times.
“Maybe 15 or 20 times — I’ve lost track,” he said, adding that many things have changed since the original plans were put down, including (and especially) the location.
Indeed, the original site was on Main Street, the former JT’s tavern. Lumpkin and Markarian had signed a letter of intent and were primed to get started when COVID arrived in March of
 Dewey’s was conceived as a place where food, beverage, and music would come together in a powerful way.
2020. The partners quickly put those plans on the shelf for what would be more than a year, but in many respects, the pandemic was somewhat of a blessing.
“I look back on it now, and while it was frustrating in the moment, it was extremely beneficial,” he recalled. “It allowed us to really dig deeper, develop the plan in more detail, and look at other locations.”
“I said to her ‘give me the landlord’s number,’ because this fit the vision; I saw the mezzanine, I saw the elevated stage ... I saw some incredible potential.”
But what really hasn’t changed is the broad concept and the desire — make that the mission — to make this all happen in Springfield, where Lumpkin was born and spent his early years.
And over its first 11 or so months in operation, Dewey’s is off to what Lumpkin called a solid start that has been better than expected, especially while dealing with COVID, two different surges, mask mandates, and the corresponding changes in atti- tude about going out and being in a crowded place.
“We’ve seen two dips and two spikes,” he explained, adding that he and Markarian understood the risks of moving ahead with their venture when they eventually did — December of 2020 — but decided these were risks worth taking. “There was really
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