Murray’s is closed, but not for good

Ashley Maines

hether it’s biscuits and gravy, french fries, chicken fingers, breakfast, lunch or dinner, Murray’s restaurant has been open for business at its 31-W Bypass location morning, noon and night since the 1950s.

Until now.

For the last 10 years, the Bucklew family has operated Murray’s, a local favorite among Western students. But since Aug. 1, the doors have been locked, leaving many students wondering why they are without a late-night hangout.

According to Ina Bucklew, whose husband Eddie leased the building for his restaurant, running Murray’s got to be too much to handle as maintenance repairs escalated.

“Rent kept going up, up, up, and we tried to keep prices down, which caused us to lose a lot of money in the past year,” Bucklew said. “And, it was like putting icing on a cake that’s crumbled inside: every time we’d fix one thing, something else would break.”

Bucklew said Western students were the only reason Murray’s was open 24 hours Thursday-Saturday. When money got tight, the two owners had even tried to hold regular hours rather than being open all night as well. But they felt obligated to return to their famous night hours when Western students complained.

Many students said they had fond memories of the restaurant.

Kristen Frazer and Jennifer Jost, both sophomores from Evansville, Ind., said they were sad to hear of Murray’s closing. The two friends ate there together about four times as freshmen.

“We’d go with whoever we were out with late at night,” Frazer said. “Murray’s was cheap and the only place open at 3 a.m.”

Jill Emerson, a junior from Louisville, said she felt much the same way.

“(Murray’s) had really good biscuits and gravy, especially at four in the morning,” Emerson said.

In fact, Western students are the main reason Murray’s isn’t staying closed. After maintenance improvements such as finishing repairs and repainting the walls are complete, the new management is looking to reopen Murray’s by Sept.1.

When the facelift and new management have taken over, Bucklew said she will be eating there frequently and hopes Western students continue to give the restaurant as much business as before.

“Western students always gave us lots of business,” Bucklew said. “I really appreciate it.”

Students seemed equally appreciative that they will soon be able to shadow Murray’s floors at all hours again. Louisville sophomore Meredith Gunn said she ate there at least once a month. She said she looks forward to being able to eat there with friends and family again.

“I’m so excited because it’s a 24-hour place close to campus,” Gunn said. “I could eat their breakfast all day long.”

Reach Lindsey Reed at [email protected]