Murphy’s deals with the change

By Mike Spellman
Daily Herald Sports Writer
Posted Thursday, February 09, 2006

The expansion of the bleachers at Wrigley Field means about 1,800 more potential customers before and after each home game for Murphy’s Bleacher bar on the corner of Waveland and Sheffield.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is the expansion has all but wiped out the view from the rooftop Murphy’s operates three doors down from the bar on Sheffield Avenue, a loss of “several hundred thousand dollars” in revenue, according to bar co-owner and manager James Murphy.

“We’re not renting any rooftops,” Murphy said. “I believe ours is the most affected by the expansion. We’ll only be able to see home plate after it’s done — that’s the architect’s projection.

“We may have more people down in our bar because of the expansion, but I don’t know if it makes up for the loss of our rooftop, revenue-wise.”

While other rooftop owners have begun to build up in order to get a better view of the park, Murphy said that’s not a feasible option for the 100-year-old building.

“Essentially, it would be cheaper to bulldoze the whole thing and build a new building rather than gut it and try to build up from the inside,” he said.

So, instead of lining up potential customers before the season starts in April, Murphy instead is waiting until Opening Day, when he will take pictures of the view from the rooftop and circulate them to customers to see if they’d still be interested.

Surprisingly, some already are.

“We do have a lot of repeat customers and some of them have expressed interest in doing it anyway because people don’t spend a lot of the time watching the game,” he said. “It’s more like a big picnic, corporate events and stuff.”


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