Charles Reid Dennis, the founder of the legendary Durty Reid’s Bar and Grill, passed away Saturday in St. Petersburg, Florida.
He was 79 years old.
Dennis died suddenly but peacefully, said his daughter Davina Tresidder.
“My father had a passion for life that was addictive when you were around him,” Tressider said. “You couldn’t help but laugh and be happy, and that was what he lived for – food, life and love and that came through to us his children. He was a superhero in our eyes.”
In 1967, Dennis travelled to the Cayman Islands as a visitor and fell in love with the place.
A New York native and avid Washington Redskins fan, Dennis grew up in Virginia. He opened Durty Reid’s 31 years ago in the old Red Bay Plaza site. It later moved to Pedro Castle when government demolished the building to make way for the East-West Arterial corridor.
In earlier years, he worked at Ports of Call, now The Wharf, and was manager and editor of the Caymanian Weekly, which later merged with the Cayman Compass, and acted as a fictional pirate named Durty Reid Walker in the movie ‘Cayman Triangle’.
There was an outpouring of sympathy and well wishes to his family on social media as word spread of his death.
“Durty Reid’s wasn’t just a bar, but a family affair,” friends and relatives wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page on Saturday. “RIP DURTY REID! Deepest Sympathies to Dorothy ‘Doll Doll’, Wes, Davina and William. All the Reid family and friends are in our prayers. We will all miss Reid Dennis of the Legendary “Durty Reid’s Bar & Restaurant.”
“Reid was one of those rare people who did not have an enemy… everyone liked Reid Dennis,” said George ‘Barefoot’ Nowak, Dennis’ friend. “I have a very strange sense of humour and Reid was one of the few people I know who understood it… and he was even funnier than me.”
Nowak said it was impossible to dislike Reid. The logo at his famous restaurant and bar summed him up, ‘Lousy Food, Surly Help and Warm Beer’.
“Despite his satire logo… the place stayed packed, especially during the football season,” Nowak said.
Arek Joseph, Dennis’ co-star in ‘Cayman Triangle’, said Dennis made a special contribution to the community’s happiness by adding carefree fun and laughter to our lives.
“I never pass the site of the old Durty Reid’s without smiling and remembering something he said or did,” Joseph said, adding, “Thanks for the memories, Reid. Hopefully the spirit of Durty Reid will continue to haunt us, and may you rest in peace.”
Dennis is survived by his wife Dorothy, children Davina, Wesley, William, grandchildren Ryder, Noah, Reid and a host of family and friends.
Funeral services will be announced at a later date.