According to Mike O’Leary, when he and his wife Melody bought the old Club 101 bar and grill in North Redwood, they named it Murphy’s Landing for a reason.
“Murphy was our wheaton terrier, and ‘landing’ comes from because we’re by the Minnesota River, and there was a landing nearby,” said O’Leary last week.
“Since we renamed it, we’ve heard from a few people that there really was a Murphy’s Landing on the river near here, but it’s pure coincidence,” he laughed.
For both Mike and Melody, buying the old bar and grill was a sort of homecoming.
“We both grew up here, and worked here as teenagers,” said O’Leary, who graduated from Redwood Falls High School in 1969.
For the past 30 years, O’Leary worked for a phone company in Denver, Colorado, and in the Twin Cities.
“I always planned on retiring to Redwood Falls, and when I saw Club 101 was up for sale....”
The O’Learys have been back in Redwood Falls since March, and officially bought the bar and grill on June 1.
The O’Learys have made changes both inside and out, with more to come.
“We’ve brightened up the rooms with new paneling, and will be putting in new windows,” said O’Leary. “We heard a lot of comments about wanting windows, and we want this to be a comfortable place for families.”
Although Murphy’s Landing remains a bar and grill, “we’d like it to be considered an eating establishment more than a bar,” said O’Leary.
Specifically, the O’Leary’s would like Murphy’s Landing to be known as the place for getting a good burger.
“We’ve added new burgers, such as ones with egg, peanut butter, or olives,” said O’Leary.
Being good neighbors is one of the O’Leary’s goals. They’ve eliminated a few items from their menu to not be in competition with the restaurant across the street, and no longer do off-sale liquor to not compete with the liquor store next door.
And the hard work has paid off so far.
“The word of mouth and social media have been amazing,” said O’Leary. “We’ve seen people coming in who haven’t been here in 10 or 15 years. It’s been nice having people I’ve known from my past coming in.”