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Fire-damaged Springfield pub demolition work begins

Longtime bar and restaurant will move one building north.

Demolition began this week on a former pub and restaurant that was destroyed in a fire, and its owners hope to open in a new location still this year.

McMurray’s Irish Pub was destroyed by a fire this past summer, and workers began the process of tearing down the building Monday, said Brien O’Neill, the general manager of the business. According to information from the city of Springfield, the demolition permit was issued Friday and will be performed by Schwenn Construction. The business will reopen, but it will instead be located next door at a historic building at 625 N. Limestone St.

Owners are still trying to decide what to do with the former McMurray’s Irish Pub location at 122 E. College Avenue after demolition is complete.

Renovating the new space has moved more slowly than expected — at one point the plan was to have the bar and restaurant open by Labor Day. Now, the goal is to have the business open again before the end of the year, O’Neill said.

“We thought we’d have been open a long time ago,” O’Neill said of the new location.

Renovations have been ongoing since July at the new location, which was previously the site of the Woods-Allgier Funeral Home. O’Neill said while the site has seen progress, owners are still waiting on items such as a fire suppression system and an occupancy permit from the city.

The Limestone building is more than 100 years old, O’Neill said, so making sure it meets strict safety standards requires a lot of work.

“We’re trying to take this building and beef it up to the safety standards of any new building,” O’Neill said.

When it opens, the site will offer a bar area and a restaurant serving items like pizzas, sandwiches and appetizers. There is no specific timeline for when the renovations might be complete.

If for some reason the business is not fully ready by the end of the year, O’Neill said other options could include delivering pizzas and other items, or offering curbside pickup for meals.

O’Neill said the century-old building will provide an interesting location for customers to have dinner, and the work will help keep the building standing for decades to come.

“We really wanted to try and keep as much of the building intact as we could,” O’Neill said.

Springfield City Commissioner Kevin O’Neill owns McMurray’s.

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