The new space debuted last week at 61 Second Ave. between Third Street and Fourth Street.
DNAinfo spoke with bar (and building) owner Tom O'Byrne about the new concept ("we wanted it to be a little more upscale") ... and why he decided to close Dempsey's:
The problem, he explained, was that the appeal of the neighborhood pub had run its course — the time was right to fold the business and start over with something new and fresh, capable of casting a wider net.
“When we opened Dempsey’s, it had been current and of its time, and it had been popular and much beloved of many years, but generationally things change,” he said.
And while Dempsey’s was known for its pints of beer, trivia nights, and simple pub fare, The Gray Mare is offering a colorful menu including Short Rib Nachos with Avocado Creme Fraiche and a Ribeye Cheese Steak Hero.
The food is accompanied by craft cocktails such as the Native Dancer, featuring tequila, lime and mint, the Final Furlong, featuring bourbon, muddled strawberries and ginger beer, and The Outsider, with mezcal, cognac and sherry.
After 24 years, O'Byrne, who also owns Slainte at 304 Bowery and Cooper’s Craft and Kitchen on Second Avenue at Fifth Street, decided to close Dempsey's in April.