Beth Murphy, owner of Murphy's Bleachers across from Chicago Cubs' park, remembered

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Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Beth Murphy, owner of famous Murphy's Bleachers, remembered
Beth Murphy, the Chicago bar owner of Murphy's Bleachers across from Wrigley Field in Wrigleyville, is being remembered.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Those who knew Beth Murphy, the owner of the famous Murphy's Bleachers across from Wrigley Field, are remembering her Tuesday. She died at 68 after a yearslong battle with cancer.

Murphy ran the place for 20 years after her husband, Jim, died.

Sheffield Avenue outside the bar still bears his name.

But in recent years it was Beth who led the charge, not only for Murphy's, but for the whole neighborhood.

"Sometimes she was the only woman in the room, but you never messed with Beth Murphy. She knew her stuff. She knew where her heart was," Alderman Tom Tunney said.

And that frequently put her at odds with the Cubs, like when ballpark expansion and huge video screens blocked some rooftop views, including from Murphy's rooftop.

But the Cubs are remembering her fondly.

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"I've been a patron of Murphy's for as long as I've been in Chicago, and it's a great institution. And Beth was someone everyone liked and is gonna miss," Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said.

Pearl Jam, with lead singer and huge Cubs fan Eddie Vedder, rehearsed on Murphy's rooftop before playing their 2016 concert at Wrigley.

And the bar played a prominent role in the Pearl Jam Documentary "Let's Play Two."

But Murphy also made sure the bar thrived when there were no big events in the neighborhood.

"It's about being a community leader and giving back," said Maureen Martino, with the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce.

Murphy also gave back to her employees, who are remembering her generosity.

"She's so sincere. You'll never see another Beth Murphy," Murphy's Bleachers General Manager Freddy Fagenholz said.

Recognizing her importance to their fans and this neighborhood, the Cubs plan to honor the memory of Beth Murphy, with a moment of silence before Tuesday night's game.