Murphy’s Irish Pub: A Lucky Find in Wallingford

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Written by: John Allis

In the heart of Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, between the overseeing eye of Fremont’s Troll and the humming, youthful life of the U District, sits Murphy’s Irish Pub, a gem on the corner of 45th and Meridian.

Murphy’s, founded in May of 1981, purports to be “Seattle’s first Irish pub,” a heck of a claim. Their current location, only half a block west of the original (they moved in 1992), offers a lived-in, comfortable and homey feel in a cozy, foot-traffic-friendly part of town.

To start, Murphy’s has one of the best happy hours (Monday thru Friday, 3-6:30) in Wallingford, boasting a menu with all of the standard pub fare you’d expect and hope for (burgers, rubens, melts, nachos), as well as some you might not anticipate (edamame, quesadillas, pita pizzas), at a very, very reasonable price. Happy hour micros go for $3.50, $1 off most imports and all wells. Permit me to mention the NY reuben again, as it’s the best I’ve ever had. When I told the owner this he lit up with a smile and gestured toward the kitchen as he chuckled, “I’ll let the guy know, he’ll be happy.”

If the good food isn’t enough to get you through the door, how about the live entertainment? If pub trivia (idiot trivia, as they call it at Murphy’s) is your thing, come down Tuesday night, and while you’re at it why not enjoy a micro pitcher on special? Or come down Wednesday, when in addition to a local music showcase they offer another tremendous drink special, $8 Pabst Blue Ribbon and shot of Jager. Not to come off as a sot, but I’ve become a big fan of Murphy’s on Monday night, when drink specials are supplemented with live Irish music. You can’t beat that, and what better place for it? Most apropos, Irish tunes at the pub.

And then, lest I forget, there’s the considerable draught beer selection, as well as a diverse spread of liquors. There’s something here for everyone, be it a local brew, a cider, light or dark, just like you like it.

Then lastly, to my particular fancy, the place features a tremendous staff of bartenders and waitresses who will gladly bring you lunch and regularly refill your coffee cup, as you sit against the east-facing wall writing a glowing review about their humble establishment, singing their praises, full and content. They’ll wave you goodbye as you leave saying, “See you soon! Thanks for coming in! I hope you got some good work done!”

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