Page 8 - BusinessWest May 2, 2022
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                           no good time to do it. We took that risk, and, in looking at the cycle of it, understood that we were going to come out of this eventually.”
The goal moving forward is to continue to build on the solid foundation that has been cre- ated, he told BusinessWest, while also advancing plans for another new business in the downtown — a sports bar on Dwight Street (more on that later).
For this issue, BusinessWest talked at length with Lumpkin about a host of topics — Dewey’s, the joys (and perils) of entrepreneurship, down-
“I have always said that music, food, and drinks are the one thing that can really unite anybody and everybody. That was my hypothesis before we opened, and seeing it come to fruition has been quite amazing.”
town Springfield and its comeback from COVID, and much more.
Sound Investment
Lumpkin told BusinessWest that the chosen location for Dewey’s came about more or less by accident.
As he tells the story, he was helping his sister prepare for the grand opening of her venture, called Ethnic Study, a co-working space and café in a property on Worthington Street, in late sum- mer of 2020, when she asked him to move some paint and other materials to the other side of the divided first floor.
What he found on the other side was what was left (not much, as he recalled) of the former Fat Cat lounge, which had closed years earlier.
As he looked around, Lumpkin concluded that he had found what he was looking for. Sort of.
It wasn’t what he could see that intrigued him — although that, too. But rather, it was what he could imagine. And that was the restaurant, bar, and music venue that he had always dreamed of.
“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,” he said, adding that he signed a lease late that fall and commenced transforming the
Since it opened, Dewey’s has attracted entertainers from across the region — and across the country.
      location in December.
There was a good deal of work to be done,
including the replacement of the bar and mov- ing it from the center of the first floor to one side, new shelving, a new bar and seating on that mez- zanine level, and more, and it was completed over the next six months or so, with Dewey’s opening in June 2021.
Before getting more into this intriguing addi- tion to the downtown Springfield landscape and how it came about, we first need to explain how Lumpkin made his way back to the City of Homes and made his dream reality.
We pick up the story at Emmanuel College in Boston, where Lumpkin was studying business management, with a focus on marketing, and working as a barback at a local restaurant. Later, he worked as a server at Joe’s American Bar & Grill on Newbury Street, and then as a server and bar- tender at the Envoy Hotel in Boston’s Seaport.
While working these jobs, he developed that Room by Room app mentioned earlier, then seg- ued into real estate, and then into various forms of consulting. The money was good and the work was rewarding in many ways.
“But ... I wasn’t passionate about it,” Lumpkin recalled. “And what I realized I was passionate about was people, and music — I’m really pas- sionate about music. I love to eat, and I love a good cocktail.
“And that’s where this business idea began to develop, because I really do enjoy connect- ing with people,” he went on. “And I’ve been the friend who said, ‘everyone come to my house — I’ll cook, let’s drink, let’s hang out all night.’”
So he set out to create a business where he
The combination of food, drink, and music has made Dewey’s a destination.
would be the host and people could eat and drink, and also listen to live music.
    As noted earlier, the plans for what would become Dewey’s started jelling months before anyone had ever heard the word COVID, and would certainly be impacted by the pandemic in many respects. But while there have been some ups and downs that have coincided with surges and subsequent drops in cases, the ven- ture has come together as things were originally envisioned.
He acknowledged that being a business owner, especially in the hospitality industry, is diffi-
cult, and that’s without a global pandemic being
 Valued relationships. Something we build.
Robert Borawski President
(413) 586-5011
       8 MAY 2, 2022

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