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McMurray’s opens after devastating fire

McMurray’s Irish Pub, which was gutted by a fire and forced to close last June, has reopened in a new location after an extensive renovation to a former historic funeral home.

The popular bar and pizzeria is now located at 625 N. Limestone St., in a building that is perhaps best known as the former Woods-Allgier Funeral Home.

Owners of the business have previously estimated the renovations would cost as much as $350,000, but general manager Brien O’Neill said he believes the effort was worth it. The business was also able to retain all of its full-time employees, who helped chip in wherever possible to paint and perform other odd jobs to assist with the restoration.

“Nothing says team-building like a fire,” O’Neill said.

The business has technically been open for about six weeks, but only received its permanent occupancy permit this week, O’Neill said. Now, he’s hoping the restorations and some new attractions will help bring in the business’ traditional college crowd, as well as families and older adults who just want to stop in for dinner after work.

The North Limsetone Street location is more than 100 years old and needed extensive renovations, including a new fire suppression system. The challenge was to make the bar and restaurant look up-to-date, but at the same time retain as much of the building’s historic charm as possible.

The business features hardwood floors and an original stained glass window downstairs. A handful of flat-screen televisions line the walls next to gold-framed mirrors.

“Anything old we could salvage we wanted to keep,” O’Neill said.

The business has added other attractions as well, including brand new dart board that could potentially allow players in Springfield to connect online to compete with players in other countries.

Although the business is open, O’Neill said there are still plenty smaller jobs left to complete. Workers often chip away at other odd jobs at times when the bar is closed.

“It could be years before we’re absolutely happy with everything,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill said he believes the fire at the old location started with a deep fryer in an adjacent business. While the former location was a total loss, O’Neill thanked his staff, as well as local banks, who were supportive as the business tried to reopen.

O’Neill said the restoration was a lengthy process, but he’s happy McMurray’s employees can get back to their regular jobs.

“The employees are thrilled to be back to work,” he said. “It’s been crazy.”

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