Status Update on Murphy’s Grill

The dining area of Murphy’s Grill, set to open September 25th, this fall.  – Courtesy of Jissella Urquilla

By Jissella Urquilla

Murphy’s Grill, the soon to be newest on campus bar for CUA students was meant to open in August, however, it is now set to open on September 25th. A grand opening will be held on October 26th, right before Cardinal Weekend, by invitation only for the 500 donors.

Although it had been rumored that Murphy’s Grill was having a difficult time obtaining permits and licenses, Tim Carney, Executive Director of Housing Services, clarified that this was not the case.

“All of our licenses and occupancy permits were obtained in the expected time frames and without difficulty.” Carney said.

In the weeks leading up to its opening Murphy’s Grill has been occupied with necessary operational tasks like getting the kitchen and staffing ready.

“The light is at the end of the tunnel,” said Frank Persico, Vice President for University Relations and Chief of Staff.

Since there has been almost no publicity so far this semester in regards to the opening, students like senior Tim Keville have been confused. Carney said students should expect to see more information and advertisement for Murphy’s Grill in the weeks to come.

“I have asked around to classmates and no one really seems to know when the opening date will be,” Keville said.

Murphy’s Grill is named after Michael Murphy, a CUA Alum who received a Bachelors of Arts in History in 1974 and later a Masters in American History in 1975.  Murphy wanted students at Catholic to have a place where they could get together on a weekday night and be able to socialize. In 2007, before succumbing to cancer, Murphy announced he would be starting a fund for the students to have a Rathskeller “The Rat” in other words a place for students to get together, a “socialization place, and a community builder,” Persico said. The Rat was a bar on campus that closed in 2003 when the Pryzbyla opened and campus shifted its center of the university.  

Murphy’s Grill, is the best way to honor Murphy because it is a place that symbolizes all that he stood for. In fact, the logo of Murphy’s Grill, which was designed by Douglas Gunderson, son of Mary Corcoran, an alum of the university, uses a traditional Irish symbol for the trinity. The logo itself shows how Murphy’s Grill is meant to follow Murphy’s vision of the students having a place to come together.

A vision that started in 2007 will finally be revealed after 10 years of being in the works. The opening of Murphy’s Grill is credited to Murphy’s vision and Persico’s efforts over the last 10 years to keep the project going. Another addition that Murphy’s Grill will have for the community of Catholic is that it will provide jobs to CUA students, Persico feels that student workers will enrich the atmosphere. With student workers as hosts, runners, and servers, it is more plausible that Murphy’s will be a place of socializing.

Following 14 years since CUA students have been able to purchase beer on a consistent basis on campus,  Kelly Bourbon, 21, Media and Communication Major, is “pumped.”

“I’ve been waiting to be able to purchase a beer on campus,” Bourbon said.

Bourbon, believes Murphy’s Grill will add to the culture at CUA because people will want to stay on campus to hang out instead of going into the city.

“Literally I felt like I hit nirvana,” said Bourbon when speaking about the Murphy’s Grill menu items she tasted.  Bourbon is not the only student excited for Murphy’s Grill to open.

Nicolas Calias, a Computer Science major, is also excited about Murphy. “It’s a new place to get food, and if you’re 21 you can purchase alcohol,” Calias said.

Will Deatherage, a sophomore studying abroad this semester, is looking “forward to returning to a campus united closer together through the warm environment that Murphy’s is hoping to provide.”

Other students do not share the same opinion. Jessica McDowell, a senior Psychology major, feels neutral about the opening of Murphy’s Grill.

“It’s just something that is happening around me,” McDowell said. McDowell believes Murphy’s Grill will only be beneficial to families on campus with prospective students.  Justin Andreani, a Senior Politics Major, shares common beliefs with McDowell.

“I do plan on visiting but its high prices are too impractical for me,” Andreani said.

Bottled beers will start at $6 and regular food items are mostly above $12. Murphy’s will offer a variety of appetizers, burgers and sandwiches all below $15, and chef specials. The restaurant will also carry a range of beers in bottle and on draft, red and white wines, and mixed drinks.  

To answer the concern of impracticality, Murphy’s Grill will be accepting cardinal cash and some items will be available through meal exchange and dining dollars. The plan of ten years will come to fruition at the end of this month, and students will finally get to see what Murphy’s has to offer.


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