McMurray’s Finds Life in Former Funeral Home

(Elizabeth Doll/ The Torch)

Like a great phoenix spreading its wings after being reborn, beloved pub McMurray’s will rise again from the ashes, just in another form. The winds of time have simply blown those ashes next door, conveniently taking Mc’s from cremation to resurrection in a few steps.

Originally proposed for the location that is now Ruby’s Pub, general manager of McMurray’s Brian O’Neill, also a Wittenberg alumni, provided me with some insight regarding the future of the once popular, recently dismantled establishment that was frankly becoming a fixture in the Wittenberg community, as far as the students were concerned. After surveying the downtown space and finding out the owner wasn’t exactly interested in leasing or selling, the opportunity for a more unique venue opened up in McMurray’s backyard. The new location, located at 625 N. Limestone Street and owned by the O’Neill family since the early 2000s, has previously served as the home for both the living and dead as Woods-Allgier Funeral Home and, after that, a housing and rental property. Currently in a stage awaiting approval for the overall change of usage, the layout and premise of the new, and potentially improved, bar will be a much different place than frequent McMurray’s were used to.

“The idea is to utilize both floors and have it function as a two-tier entity,” O’Neill said. “Downstairs you have that standard bar environment with the dance floor and DJ but now you have the option of changing your scenery by retreating upstairs.”

The second floor will have a much softer tone if anyone is looking to escape from the noise without being forced to venture outside or leave entirely. It will lend a classier vibe to those seeking such an atmosphere and also yields options for other exclusive social elements; a possible stage for local talent, higher-ended choices, and party rentals. And, yes, Paddy’s Pizza will once again be available.

Considering the minimal distance between McMurray’s and Witt’s campus, the situation presented is ideal for Wittenberg students. Right now, other options for this type of social interaction include Ruby’s, Station 1, and Founders.

Senior Matt Macksamie is among the many students excited for the return of “Mc’s”.

“Wittenberg’s connection through alumni allows the students to enjoy a setting catered with us in mind,” he said. “They embrace their surroundings and work to please a variety of groups.”

A lot of McMurray’s appeal is specifically geared towards the return of former Wittenberg students. The times when the campus is lush with alumni are optimal bar occasions, becoming a refuge to visit with your former collectives and acquaintances.

So, the big question that seems to be on everyone’s mind is simple, when is it opening? Many rumors have been floating around the last couple of weeks speculating the complete return of McMurray’s and they all seem to generally fixed on Homecoming; Oct. 11-13.

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