Restaurants / Bars

A New Irish Pub Complete’s Feargal McKinney’s Dallas Bar Trifecta on Henderson Avenue

Spider Murphy's Finds a Home Between The Old Monk and Skellig

BY // 02.11.21

With the opening of Spider Murphy’s, Dublin-native Feargal McKinney will have achieved a trifecta of local Irish bars on Dallas’ Henderson Avenue. Owner of 22-year-old The Old Monk and the more recent Skellig, McKinney (Pubsmith LLC owner) and operations manager Charles Reis have taken over the former Bar Stellar space — located directly in the middle of their other two pubs.

“We’ve talked about the idea for Spider Murphy’s for years,” Reis tells PaperCity. “And we both felt connected to the building [formerly Vickery Park for a decade before it closed in 2017]. There’s a great energy on the block and when the space became available we thought it was a great opportunity to triple down on Henderson.”

Spider Murphy’s will be an Irish pub at its core, but offer a few twists to differentiate it from its Henderson counterparts.

“The menu will have more cocktails and be less beer-driven,” Reis says. “Of course we’ll still have European beer and Irish whiskeys and scotch, but based on the evolution of our clientele, we’re going to be more serious with cocktails.”

Chef Oliver Sitrin (Bullion, Blind Butcher) helped create the food menu for Spider Murphy’s, which will also differ from The Old Monk’s classic fish and chips and steamed mussels menu. “We’ll have classic bar food in more interesting ways,” Reis says. “There will be lots of Tex-Mex and Southwestern flavors.”

You may be wondering where the name Spider Murphy’s came from — I was too, so I asked. “It’s not that exciting of a story,” Reis laughs. “It’s named after Peter Richard “Spider” Stacy of [Celtic rock band] The Pogues. It actually came up two bars ago in a naming meeting and Feargal just loved it and thought it was fun.”

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Spider Murphy's Dallas
In the former Bar Stellar space, new pub Spider Murphy’s features a classic Irish pub with new concepts. (Courtesy of Spider Murphy’s)

If you’ve seen the building, painted black all over with a dark interior with low ceilings, the name fits perfectly. There are mysterious, moody vibes all over the place, and an authenticity the duo bring to all their haunts.

“The look and feel of the place came from a trip to Dublin we took a couple years ago,” says Reis. “There were the classic Irish pubs, but then there are newer pubs that still embrace the history with a new riff.”

The covered, outdoor patio has been renovated, along with the insertion of a brick wall that divides the space into another uncovered area. The goal is to have Spider Murphy’s open before St. Patrick’s Day — the first week in March. How lucky!

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