604 E. Green Street, Champaign
Murphy’s Pub has been on the campus of the University of Illinois since 1969. They’re well known for their Murphy’s burgers and delicious French fries. They also have soups and salads and several other sandwich offerings.
When I was a student at the University of Illinois back in the late 1980s, Murphy’s was about a quarter the size that it is today. The grill/kitchen was right inside the front door, and the bar itself was further back. Back then the police and cities were much less stringent about 19- and 20-year olds drinking, and Murphy’s was the only (right?) “upper classman” bar because they only allowed kids 21 and over to enter in the evenings. (Probably Willy’s, or Illini Inn, was that way as well, but that’s not really a “campus bar…”).
Back in the day, Murphy’s was well known for their burgers and fries, including their “mega” burgers which they have on special several days a week, including the bacon “mega” on Wednesday and the mushroom “mega” on Saturday. Their full menu can be found on eatcu.com.
I think my wife has only been to Murphy’s once or twice over the years, and with the students gone for Spring break, we decided it might be a great time to visit them. I, of course, ordered the bacon “mega” cheeseburger with fries, and the redhead ordered a blackened tuna salad with a bowl of corned beef chowder.
I have to admit, we were both a bit disappointed. Betsy said the chowder was “interesting” but wasn’t a fan of the salad, which she said was basically bagged salad mix with on over-cooked piece of tuna and a vinaigrette dressing that she said tasted too sweet. As far as my burger, it definitely wasn’t the experience from back in the day. The burger patty seemed more like it had been frozen instead of freshly made and my bun seemed stale. The fries were fantastic, of course,
Service was relatively quick, and the environment is great—it’s definitely a college bar, but it’s clean and easy to get into and around.