Patrick Dempsey's "Global Baristas" investment team was one of seven groups interested in Tully's. All the groups spent Thursday giving presentations to a bankruptcy judge, and late Thursday night Dempsey announced that his group had prevailed.
After the presentations, Dempsey Tweeted, "We met the green monster, looked her in the eye, and...SHE BLINKED! We got it! Thank you Seattle!"
When the long day of meetings let out after 11 p.m., Dempsey said he plans on spending much more time in Seattle. He also spoke about keeping Tully's employees on the job.
"People are passionate about this brand and about what's going on with the jobs in this city," he said. "To keep all those jobs in the company intact, that was a big turning point when it was decided that if you break it up, it's not something that's acceptable."
Earlier in the day, he said his plan to buy the company hasn't been percolating long.
"It happened very quickly, in the last month or so," Dempsey said. "Things started coming together."
Dempsey, who stars as Dr. Derek Shepherd on ABC's Grey's Anatomy -- which is set in Seattle -- says his team is in good position to takeover Tully's and he'd like to make Seattle a second home.
"I love it here -- even the weather is great to me," Dempsey said. "I woke up this morning and looked out and saw the ferry boats coming in and out. Great people -- certainly with the success of the show there's a fondness to this community."
Photo posted on Patrick Dempsey's Twitter account (@PatrickDempsey) with barista Chris Bustamante on Jan. 2, 2013.He says his desire to give back to the Emerald City and possibly save hundreds of jobs is a main reason he's trying to resuscitate the ailing coffee company.
"I think some of the players involved in this deal want to take those jobs away, and you're looking at an economy that's rough to get jobs," Dempsey said. "I went by one of the stores yesterday and the employees are deeply concerned. That's one thing we care deeply about."
While at the Tully's Wednesday, Dempsey was served by lead barista Chris Bustamante.
"I come outside, I look at the register and I'm like, that guy looks familiar," Bustamante said. "Our also standard is, you know, a name on the cup, and so I was like, 'Can I get your name for the cup?' And he just looks at me and he smiles and he's like, 'It's Patrick.' And I was like, 'Oh, I know who you are. It's very nice to meet you.' It was a very normal conversation."
Bustamante said Dempsey really wanted to get a feel for the company.
"He wants to know how we feel and what we want in the company," Bustamante said. "Of course he's going to have his own questions as well because he's so involved in trying to buy the company as well. He wants to be involved with his employees as well.
"I think it's very good he's trying to take an interest because his name is so well-known it will make our name well-known as well."
Tully's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October. Quite a few of the company's stores around Seattle have already been shutdown. The company currently has 47 company-run locations in Washington and California, as well as 58 licensed stores around the nation.
Tully's officials were appreciative of Dempsey's efforts.
"It's certainly wonderful that he's so supportive of the company and has expressed such a strong interest in Tully's," said Diane Guerts, Tully's director of marketing and public relations. "We are certainly are very excited and positive about moving forward with them if they do come out on top today."
One of the companies Dempsey had to fend off was Starbucks.
"We have no desire to be Starbucks at all," Dempsey said. "We have a very good plan, and I think the right person will get the sale at the end of the day."
Sources leaving Thursday's meeting said it was one of the most controversial auctions they've been to and expect there to be an appeal.