We’re taking you outside city limits for a bite to eat in a small town restaurant that’s all about local food and features handcrafted cocktails and 48 taps of craft beer.
Nestled just off Interstate 75 is the small town of Sidney, Ohio. In this emerging community embracing the #eatlocal trend is the newly opened restaurant Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen.
Murphy’s is owned by 22-year-old restauranteur Rocco Catanzarite. Although young, he’s motivated to create something great in his hometown.
“Being born and raised in Sidney I know there isn’t really much to do here,” he says. “I found that all age groups kind of twiddle their thumbs on Friday and Saturday nights.”
He wanted to change that with the opening of Murphy’s. Thanks to his start at the family business called Karoc Marathon, a convenience store and gas station that has become known as one of the largest beer and wine boutiques in the state of Ohio, Catanzarite was able to spread his wings and his network.
He worked off the theory of “it’s all about who you know” and began reaching out to as many people as he could. Over time he was able to establish relationships to breweries and get his hands on hot new releases coming to the state and limited release beers.
After months of preparation, planning, and continuing to reach out to contacts, Catanzarite opened Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen in downtown Sidney, offering big city vibes to a town of 20,000 people.
“We pride ourselves on being the first to the party and doing fun things like putting popsicles in our cocktails and infusing bacon into vodka,” he says.
The menu at Murphy’s features popular items like the Nashville Hot Chicken, Braised Short Rib Poutine, Murphy’s Wings, and the Hangover Burger, which use local ingredients in their recipes. The restaurant also features weekly appetizer and burger specials so that there’s always something new to taste.
There are 48 taps at Murphy’s as well, featuring Cincinnati beers like Rhinegeist and MadTree. But what makes the taps at Murphy’s unique is that they rotate out the beers, so the beer menu is constantly changing and new options are always available for craft beer lovers to try out. The cocktails at the restaurant are handcrafted and include favorites like the Pineapple Habanero Margarita, the Brown Derby, a French 75, and more like the draft cocktail and crowd favorite the Dreamsicle.
“My goal at Murphy’s is to create an experience, from the moment that customer pulls the handle on the front door I want them to feel as if they are a part of something, something that when they leave they can’t wait to go back,” he says.
The experience he and his team of millennials offer at Murphy’s is something he hopes to continue to expand upon with future endeavors.
“For the future there are many plans, a couple we are actually working on currently and plan to open within the next year and a half,” he says. “The goal is to really round out all our brands into one hospitality brand; customers will eat at our restaurants, grab a bottle of wine and some gas at Karoc, shop in our retail store, and stay in our hotel.”