Closing Time


Last call for Murphy’s? NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! 

Unbe-freakin-believable. If you’re like us, you were stunned when you heard the news: a famous East Falls bar will soon be history. Say it isn’t so, Murphy’s Irish Saloonery!

“It’s time,” Mike Murphy told us — not nearly as gently as he should have, by the way (a free beer would’ve lessened the blow, just sayin’).

But this place is an institution, and it’s busy every night. The best Irish bar in the state, yet. What gives?

“After 40 years of running the business end of the bar, my mom wants to move on,” Mike said, “And me too. I’ve been working late nights and weekends for 20 years.  I am so ready to give that sh– up.”

And now a supermarket wants to buy the bar’s liquor license, and a developer has made an offer they finally can’t refuse. “We never in a million years thought we’d see Murphy’s Saloonery tuned into townhouses but then, we never expected a lot of the changes happening now in East Falls.”

The same developer who built on the old Hohenadel brewery site would like to put three more townhouses on the Murphys’  property at Conrad & Indian Queen Lane. Despite some neighbor rumblings, Mike’s optimistic the change’ll be good for the community.

And he’s quick to point out that, actually, the bar had originally been two rowhouses that the first owner fused into the Saloonery we all know today. “It’s not so much a change as it is a return to the way things used to be,” Mike said, “More residents means more customers for local business so it’s still a win for the neighborhood.”

How do we have, then? A month…? Two..?

Shut-down’ll begin June 30th — the same date the bar opened back in the 70’s. Murphy’s hoping to ride out the spring & summer with some blow-out events to raise money for the neighborhood before they shutter their doors in the fall. “Last year we raised $3k towards the river landing, but now I want to focus on improvements everyone can enjoy right now, like Frequency’s bike rack.”

Ah, parting gifts. The Murphy’s might be breaking our heart, but they’re not leaving us empty-handed.

Can’t believe we’re losing this legendary local watering hole. One of the city’s top dive bars, according to Playboy Online. Rated by Buzzfeed and Irish Central as the best Irish bar in Pennsylvania — the only Irish bar in East Falls.

Home of the Turfburger! I can’t even. Other random comments from around the bar:

“So what are we supposed to do now?”

 “DAMMIT I just discovered this place!”

 “His dad was the greatest. I’m glad they’re retiring the name.”

 “Best place to be snowed in, ever.”

 “I met this nurse here once…”

 “Half the bar stools are wobbly, I knew that was a sign.”

 “Grace Kelly used to drink here.”

“What are they doing with all the crap on the walls?” 

 “We could all chip in and buy this place and live here and be friends forever!”

Thanks for the memories, Murphy’s. So sorry to see you go. Keep an eye on our Events calendar for the bar’s Last Summer schedule of food, music, and fun.

UPDATE 4-2-17: BIG THANKS to Mike Murphy for his awesome April Fool’s joke (he came up with the supermarket license, we piled on with the townhomes).

Everyone can relax: Murphy’s isn’t closing — in fact, it’s only getting better with a new brunch menu kicking off Sunday April 2nd at 10:00 am. 


  1. I’m hoping this is an April’s fool prank, I don’t think Mike could hold a regular job. 🙂

  2. Manana’s closes? Fine. Place sucked.

    Four Horsemen morph’s into the most disappointing and underachieving new bar in EF? Whatever.

    St Bridget’s Grade School closes? We all figured something else out.

    Brother’s Deli gets bought by a perpetually empty Indian joint? Sad, but sign of the times I suppose.

    McMichael Park must fend off a tri-annual playground assault from the latest newbie? Annoying but nothing we can’t handle.

    But Murphy’s closing? There’s simply no recovering from this one. If this is true, we’re not far behind.

    • Hi Brian, my Dad, Jerry Heenan was a regular, or should I say institution at the Saloonery. Wonder if we’re related?
      Mary (Heenan) DiGregorio

  3. Murphy’s Soloonery was always the opposition. The rivalry and competition was always stellar. The players and coaches were great and “their ” bar was always a fun and welcoming place to visit. Sad to hear it’s closing.

  4. My late brother was a frequent patron up until his death in 2007.
    Very sad to hear of Murphy’s impending demise.

  5. Thank God!!!! I just heard it was closing from my neighbor across the street this morning. I was just about to text my two sons, who along with myself, love Murphy’s.

    Good one….but risky for people who contacted their realtor to sell their houses?

  6. A wonderful place for good food and good beer. Don’t know if there is any place else as good. Will miss Bill Murphy’s.

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