Scruffy Murphy’s, Midtown’s Irish watering hole relocates after 20 years

Yonge-Eglinton pub a popular go-to for St. Patrick’s Day, even without the green beer


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Josie and Tony Wootton of Scruffy Murphy’s at 180 Eglinton Ave. E.

Scruffy Murphy’s may have just opened its new location at Eglinton Avenue West and Redpath Avenue, but the traditional Irish pub has been a popular watering hole for locals for more than 20 years. The restaurant opened in 1996 and is currently owned by Tony and Josie Wootton. The couple unveiled the new location in February, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day festivities this week. Manager Alex Del Duca spoke to Post City about the new venue, formerly the Golden Griddle on Eglinton, which is smaller but will be able to host about 70 people on the big day. 

What was the inspiration behind Scruffy Murphy’s?
“The owners live here in the neighbourhood, and I think it’s just a place where they can rest their hats and play host to their friends. It’s like a second home to them.”

Do you do anything special for St. Patrick’s Day?
“We’ve got a great partner in Guinness and in Keiths, which are Irish and East Coast staples. We tend to raffle off a Guinness fridge. I think this year it’s a fridge shaped like a Guinness tallboy. It’s St. Patrick’s Day: everyone is out to have a good time, [but] they don’t actually need food colouring in their drink.… We’ve got a bunch of local craft beer on draft, and we let the taste speak for itself.” 

Any celebrity clientele that have visited in past years?
“Scruffy’s has tended to be a place that can stay low-key for people. So we had one of the guys from Sons of Anarchy recently in the pub, but we just treated him like we would anyone else. When you come into a pub that’s independently owned and you show up in a baseball hat, the signal is you want to be treated like anyone else. We have some folks floating through here, but we don’t have them sign autographs or take photos, we know they’re here to enjoy the ambience without being bothered.”

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