'Friendliness and good food' keys to Bud Murphy's success
Bud Murphy's Sports Bar and Restaurant in Connellsville has been a favorite spot for good food for seven decades.
This year is the 70th anniversary of Bud and Hazel Murphy being in business. They opened a dairy bar and grocery on the corner of McCormick Avenue in 1943 with the assistance of three employees.
At the time, they lived in the bottom of the house across the street. They moved to the apartment above the business in 1947 when daughter Robin was 1 year old. They could not have envisioned then how much the establishment would grow or how popular it would become.
The pizza recipe originated in 1958 and has been the favorite of many people. Customers come from miles away to enjoy Bud Murphy's pizza, including Uniontown, Latrobe and Morgantown. Bud's Take-N-Bake pizza was offered a few years ago, and now the much-loved pizza travels all over the country. It is convenient for anyone who wants to serve multiple pizzas over a length of time at an at-home party.
At 40 feet, the bar in Bud's is bigger than most. It seats 50 people. A wide selection of choices are available on tap, and some people like to order a beer tower, which holds 90 ounces.
The restaurant has always been a place for special celebrations. With that in mind, owner Robin Bubarth made major renovations to add the “Shamrock Banquet Room” in 1996, which seats 70 and can be reserved at no charge.
Today, the room not only hosts parties and special get-togethers, but the Rotary Club of Connellsville, Connellsville Lions Club, Connellsville Memories group and Social Bingo Club each meet there weekly or monthly. The local PennDOT union has met there monthly since 1985.
Throughout Bud Murphy's building, bridge clubs, class reunion committees, boards of directors from several organizations and dozens of other groups meet to enjoy the menu selections and get their various projects planned. They may be found in the back dining area, upstairs or on the newly built patio, which opened in September 2008.
Bud's Patio has become another focal point of patrons. With table seating and a 34-foot bar, it is surrounded by windows and sliding doors, which can be opened in good weather for an open-air feel.
There is seating outdoors during warm months. A center fire pit adds to the relaxed atmosphere. Karaoke is held in the bar area each Wednesday and Sunday night.
“We appreciate our customers and their loyalty. We've served several generations of families over these many years,” Bubarth said.
In addition to pizza with toppings of all kinds, the extensive menu includes such favorites as cheese fries, spaghetti, codfather fish sandwiches, wings, wraps and much more. A favorite since 2005 is the “lunch deal” — a choice of a cup of soup, Caesar or tossed salad and half of a sandwich (Italian hoagie, Philly cheese or turkey BLT) for $4.99.
Bud Murphy's Sports Bar and Restaurant can be seen as the sponsor on many team shirts throughout the area. This, too, is a tradition that Bud Murphy started.
The walls of the restaurant are the display area for countless team pictures. They reflect the love Bud Murphy had for sports of all kinds and the pride he took in the successes of his teams, many with a long history of winning. Numerous trophies are among the displays, too.
In addition to sponsoring many Connellsville teams, Bud's sponsors Laurel Highlands, Albert Gallatin, Southmoreland, Hempfield and Frazier. The restaurant sponsors youth and high school baseball; youth, high school and men's softball; a women's volleyball team; youth and high school basketball; high school football, hockey, track, wrestling, swimming and youth soccer as well as Special Olympics and the Challenger Baseball league.
Bud's is the sponsor of the Highlands Hospital 5K race each summer and is the host of the party after the annual John Woodruff race each July.
Bud's is the co-host of the annual Kids Fest for the Blind held in June. An annual golf outing raises money for Wesley Health Clinic, the only free clinic for the uninsured in Fayette County.
Other special events at Bud's include the popular “St. Patrick's Day” celebration, which brings everyone together as Irish on March 17 each year; a costume party on Halloween; and a New Year's Eve party.
There are 36 televisions around the bar, including two on the outside deck of the patio, and in every other area of the restaurant, making Bud's a favorite place for fans of all sports.
Specials are often offered during Steelers and Penguins games, NASCAR races and March Madness.
“We are proud to offer warm hospitality and friendliness to our customers, those that are our ‘regulars' and those we are meeting for the first time,” Bubarth said. “My dad believed that friendliness and good food at good prices were the keys to a successful business. He passed that tradition on to me, and I'm pleased to see my children and grandchildren carrying it on into the fourth generation.
“He started with three employees; we now have 62,” she added.
Bud Murphy's, at 718 McCormick Ave., Connellsville, welcomes special events of all kinds, including birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, rehearsal dinners, banquets, sports teams, graduations, showers and office and holiday parties. To make reservations, call 724-628-9884 or 724-628-4827.
Bud Murphy's is a family-friendly restaurant. Several years ago, Bubarth started noticing the many children's parties being booked at Bud's. The problem was, after the children ate, they became restless. So in February 2010, Rock Starz Family Fun Center & Cafe became a reality.
The business is a popular birthday party venue. The guest of honor at each party takes a turn in the “money machine,” trying to capture dollar bills as the air blows them about. Those who watch have a good time as the person in the booth becomes the entertainment.
There is a laser maze and arcade games using tokens. Tickets won are redeemed for prizes. Specials for groups offer food and token packages. Kids Karaoke is fun as children showcase their singing talent with their friends.
Rock Starz has a private party room that can be used for meetings and card clubs.
“Business people often enjoy lunch here. Bud Murphy's famous pizza is served, as well as fresh cut fries, burgers, pierogies and many delicious menu items. We have an old-fashioned soda fountain with hand-dipped ice cream and a big selection of candy,” Bubarth said. Party reservations can be made by calling 724-626-ROCK. More information is available at www.budsrockstarz.com
“Bud Murphy's Sports Bar and Restaurant is where good friends meet for good food, good drink and good times,” Bubarth said.
The establishment accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover. All menu items are available for carry-out, except single-serve pizza. The website is www.budmurphys.com
Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.
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