Murphy's Steakhouse moving, merging with Pat Flynn's

January 30, 2014
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Fearful that a looming bridge construction project might kill his business, Murphy’s Steakhouse owner Craig Stonebraker knew he needed to take action.

Instead of waiting around to see if Murphy's could survive months of lane restrictions on the neighboring Fall Creek bridge, Stonebraker has chosen to relocate the venerable restaurant that for decades has called 4189 N. Keystone Ave. home.
murphy's steakhouse
But there’s an unusual twist to Murphy’s move to 5198 Allisonville Road. That’s the address of Pat Flynn’s Public House, which Stonebraker, 48, is purchasing on contract from the restaurant’s namesake.

Flynn, 58, launched his restaurant in 1997 after managing the former Bulldog Lounge in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood for 20 years. He called the sale to Stonebraker a “good exit plan,” although he wants to remain on staff for at least five years.

Murphy’s will serve its last meal at its current, 4,000-square-foot location on Valentine’s Day and should be operating at the 5,700-square-foot Allisonville location within the following week. The Pat Flynn’s moniker will give way to Murphy’s in a total renovation of the space, Stonebraker said.

“The merging of two entities that are kind of a dying breed of restaurants is a cool thing,” Stonebraker said.

Stonebraker and Flynn declined to reveal the value of the restaurant sale, as well as the projected cost of the renovation.

The new Murphy’s will combine a bit of both establishments. The menu will feature traditional steakhouse items with pub fare. And the staffs will combine to bring total employment to 55.

A decision to open on Sundays, the day both restaurants are closed now, and losing a couple of employees to operate a new, smaller-scale Murphy’s Pub on the south side helped Stonebraker justify the need for more workers.

The Murphy’s at Thompson Road and Arlington Avenue is expected to open in March. Stonebraker also operates a Murphy's Pub in Fishers at 116th Street and Olio Road.

The décor within the current incarnation of Murphy’s looks as though it hasn’t changed since Stonebraker bought the business in 1990 with his older brother, Kelly. Stonebraker bought out his share three years later.

As the low-slung design of the building and its carports might indicate, the property’s first incarnation in 1958 was as a Frisch’s Big Boy drive-in restaurant. It became a steakhouse in 1969 and was purchased in 1977 by Jim Murphy, who dubbed the restaurant Jim Murphy’s Steakhouse.

As hard as it is for Stonebraker to move—a decision he called “gut-wrenching”—the building needs major improvements that would warrant a serious investment, he said. What ultimately prompted his decision to move was the replacement of the aging Fall Creek bridge, just a stone’s throw from his restaurant’s front door.

Work is set to start Feb. 1 with lane restrictions lasting until November. Then, that section of Keystone will close entirely until the project is completed the following summer.

Stonebraker has agreed to lease the two-acre Murphy's property to Boggstown-based Beaty Construction Inc. while it works on the bridge replacement.

As to the future of the building, Stonebraker said “we’ll cross that bridge later,” so to speak.

  • Spelling?
    Good scoop and story, but Stonebreaker/Stonebraker is spelled two different ways throughout.
    • Stonebraker
      It's been fixed. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
    • Great plan
      I have been going to Murphy's for years. What a great restaraunt. It has and continues to stand the test of time. I am glad it will remain open.
    • Flynn's tenderloin
      Pat Flynn's makes the best breaded tenderloin I have ever had. I hope Stonebreaker doesn't ruin that. But will be nice to have the filet lunch special closer to home.
      What a great combination Pat and Craig will make! Good Luck can not wait till St. Patrick's Day!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • Hopeful
      We are all hopeful that the ambiance and menu of Pat Flynn's doesn't change. Their kitchen staff turns out some of the best food and menu items I have had the great pleasure of consuming.
    • Goodluck
      Goodluck on the new location Craig ! I' ll be bringing Dad, Charlie Moore, by the new location when you get moved! See you soon.
    • Good Catch!
      I had to laugh at your comment because I did not even catch that at first- we have spent many years correcting the spelling of our last name!
    • The memories.......
      My husband and I started going to Murphy's over 25 years ago when we were dating. I will miss the building/memories but the food will the same over at Pat Flynn's!!
    • Corrected
      They fixed the spelling, Liz. You are a born proofreader - I have always wished I was as good as making no mistakes myself as I am at catching other people's errors.
    • congrats
      Great to hear of your continued success Craig. You deserve it.
    • Best Wishes
      We have so many great memories of food, fun and fellowship at Pat's. The best fish and chips, blue cheese burger and kid's grilled cheese ever! Best wishes to the owners and staff on the new venture.
      • Good pairing
        Two of my favorite places rolled into one. My two favorite restaurateurs!
      • Keep Pat's Spinach Melt
        Please oh please keep Pat's spinach melt and onion rings on the menu. My all-time favorite lunch! Can't wait to see what the new space looks like!
      • Bring some quarters
        Save the game room. I know I speak for many families with the game room! (if you can). There are many times after a game, or when cabin fever hits, when our only reason for heading to Pat Flynn's was that the adults could hang out, and the kids could be occupied in that game room. My 2 cents worth. Other than that, best of luck to both parties involved. Great people.
      • Moving
        Love Love Love this restaurant. Only place you can get fried lobster. Glad you are moving. Hope you like the new place. Will see you there.

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