South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

New pizza restaurant comes to Brookings

Ean Wetzel

A new pizzeria has arrived in Brookings. 

Danger Von Dempsey’s opened Today (Aug. 30) in the Brookings Mall by the liquor store. It will offer what the owner says is unique pizzas and handcrafted beer. 

“We are really excited to be here,” Sean Dempsey, owner of Danger Von Dempsey’s said. “I’ve always wanted to open a shop here and this location was almost too good to be true when we discovered it.”  

Customers can expect a wide variety of unique pizzas with “well thought out ingredients” according to Dempsey. 

“We aren’t your normal pepperoni mushroom kind of place, though we do carry those,” Dempsey said. 

Some food options at Danger Von Dempsey’s include pizza, calzones, salads and ice cold locally brewed beer to wash it all down. Dempsey said that his pizzas are New York style with “hand crafted dough that’s aged” for around 24-48 hours.

Dempsey said after he took over his dad’s brewery, Dempsey’s Brewery and Pub, he wanted to try his own thing so he created the pizzeria. The concept for his business is “fast casual meets chill seating.” They are trying to be family friendly but also “very very Brookings.” Each store the company opens tries to have its own theme and play homage to the main store. 

Erica Quam, a professional adviser at SDSU has been to one of the Watertown locations and she enjoyed the experience. 

“The menu had a lot of unique options and the food was delicious,” Quam said. “It felt different to anything that Brookings already has. I am excited to have another place to dine in town.” 

Dempsey is an international pizza challenge participant and finalist. He’s been in the business for over 23 years, starting as a busboy and dishwasher at his father’s restaurant in 1999. 

He took over the family business in 2016 and one year after he joined The United States Pizza Team (USPT), a team of expert pizza artisans coming together with the goal of bringing competition and excitement to the pizza industry. 

Dempsey’s USPT achievements include winning 10th overall in 2017, 16th overall in 2018 and the award for the “region” both years in Las Vegas. He also won awards in Atlantic City and Granada, Spain competitions. 

He opened a second Danger Von Dempsey’s in Aberdeen in 2019 and in 2022 he opened another location in the Watertown airport. Now he’s bringing his skills and experience to Brookings. 

Richard DeGraw will be the general manager of Danger Von Dempsey’s. He has known the Dempsey family for about two decades, going all the way back to elementary school where the two played hockey together. He has since climbed the corporate ladder, becoming a full-time employee and then finally the general manager. 

“They treat you like family,” DeGraw said. 

DeGraw said the biggest obstacle when opening this new location was staffing. They aren’t fully staffed yet and are always looking for new employees that want to express their creativity.

“We look forward to being part of the fabric of Jackrabbit Nation,” DeGraw said. “We’re really excited to join the Brookings community.”

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Jack McCarty, Entertainment Editor

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