New name, new owner
Published 10:14 pm Thursday, November 5, 2015
For 20 years, Donna Perry’s brother has owned a restaurant on East Pinner Street where she spent a lot of time.
But although her brother, Michael Justice, still owns the land and building, the restaurant is now hers.
“When Mike owned it, there were always things I wanted to do,” Perry said.
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Justice tried to sell the business twice but wound up taking it back both times.
“I think it’s just meant to be in the family,” Perry said.
Formerly called Madigan’s, the restaurant now is renamed Derl’z, after her father.
Perry bought the business this fall with many plans. First and foremost is getting the word out that it’s a family-friendly environment.
“Before, it was more of a bar, but I don’t want it to be a bar,” she said, describing a family who visited and played cornhole after their meal recently. “That’s how I see Derl’z is — a place for everybody. Our motto is, ‘You enter in as strangers, but you leave as friends.’ Kind of like Cheers — ‘Everybody knows your name.’”
Perry has made some changes to the menu, including new selections like potatoes stuffed with rotating options like taco and Philly cheesesteak, as well as crabcake bites and wings.
“We’re selling over a hundred pounds of wings a week,” she said. “All of our food is really getting a lot of attention. We’re so different from a chain. I’ll make what you want, as long as I have it.”
Perry plans a variety of activities at the site. She’s already done a paint night and a comedy night and plans another comedy night on Nov. 11 with Julie Scoggins of “Last Comic Standing” fame.
“There wasn’t a seat in here you could sit in” on the first comedy night, Perry said. “Everybody had a blast. Suffolk needs more entertainment.”
She also plans a canned food drive on Nov. 18, a coat drive in December and a pub crawl, for which admission also will be a nonperishable food item. She hopes to have game night, steak night and other activities, too.
“I want it to be family-friendly and fun,” she said.