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Belly Up

Sept 29 , 2011
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Get in where you fit in at Murphy's… the bar seats 20!

Murphy's Bar and Grill's new co-owner, Steve Halterman, is not afraid to get behind the bar and sling a brew or two. The seasoned sports bar is getting a refreshed look in coming weeks, but the Urbandale bar will remain open during renovations.

By Amber Williams

Nowadays it seems real sports fanatics have state-of-the-art home entertainment systems accompanied by the TV networks' package tickets of all the televised games. So people can invite a party of friends to spill beer and popcorn on their fancy furniture and clean carpet on every huge play that explodes on the screen.

Yet fans still flock to Murphy's Bar and Grill in Urbandale where a fair amount of spillage is expected. It has become the "official game watching location" for both the Polk County I-Club and the Greater Des Moines Cyclone Club, according to new owner Steve Halterman.

"We root for the Hawkeyes, too," Halterman ensured. "We encourage both Cyclone and Hawkeye fans to come for games, and we love having people come for the Panther games, too. It's a great place to watch a ball game — one of the best places in town."

And with 16 various-sized TVs, including two big screen projectors, mounted along every wall and corner in the joint, there's not a bad seat in the house.

Halterman and his wife, Susan, bought Murphy's on July 1 with the intention of providing the neighborhood with… well, with what it has offered for almost a decade — an "upscale" alternative sports bar. Located near two busy streets, 100th Street and Hickman Road, it's one of the only places where folks can go without the carousing crowd of bar-hoppers. It's a destination spot, and as Halterman puts it, "It's not a dive."

"It's a nice bar and a very friendly place. Our servers are always smiling, and the bartenders know your name," he said.

That's what the Haltermans liked about it when they first patronized Murphy's years ago. Known among their friends as hospitable hosts during pool parties and gatherings at their home, the self-proclaimed "foodies" decided to enter into the bar/restaurant business.

"We like people; we like food; and we like sports, so this was a great way to put all three of those things we like together," Halterman said.

Although the pub/eatery has proven to have staying power in its current location (originally named Murphy's Law before it changed in 2002), the last owners decided to pass on the torch, and the Haltermans have plans. Though they like it the way it is, in coming weeks Murphy's will lighten up a bit, both in its appearance and menu, featuring more wraps and salads to an already Irish bar with a "Mexican mix" on the menu, Halterman said.

A fresh coat of paint, some new carpet and refinished wood ought to "freshen the place up a bit, as well," Halterman said. And the establishment will remain open while work is underway.

Along with the staff, most things will not change at the bar, though. Its spacious eating and drinking areas and 20-seat bar invite the solo patron there for the game or a party of people. Halterman said they're working on offering a special to groups that reserve space for gatherings or game day, too. For $12, a group can enjoy a bucket of five beers or 20 hot wings. CV


Murphy's Bar and Grill

2675 100th Street, Urbandale


Hours of Operation: 11 a.m. (10 a.m. on Hawks football game days) to 12 a.m., Mon.-Thurs.; 11-2 a.m. Sat. and Sun.; kitchen 11 a.m.-9 p.m. every day.

Happy Hour: 75 cents off all wells and domestics and $4 25-ounce mugs from 3-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. and all day Sunday; Thirsty Thursdays — $3.50 25-ounce mugs 6 p.m.-close and 2-for-1 pizzas.

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