MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis lost a restaurant legend on Tuesday.
Pat Murray, 72-year-old owner of Murray’s Steakhouse, has died, according to an employee of the restaurant. He took over the restaurant from his parents, Art and Marie, in 1960.
Former WCCO Radio food critic Sue Zellickson says Murray treated the steakhouse, which sits on 6th Street, like a home.
“You’d know the waiters and waitresses who were there for years,” Zellickson says. “That’s something you don’t find too often.”
Murray kept it a family business, eventually turning over the reins to his son Tim.
“My dad was very instrumental in teaching me about the business and carrying on the legacy my grandparents started back in 1946,” Tim said.
Tim described his father as a man who enjoyed engaging with people.
“I know I’ll miss him,” said John Van House, the steakhouse’s executive chef.
Van House got his big break from Murray, who also taught Van House the restaurant business.
Murray was also a major booster of the local sports scene. Dave St. Peter, president of the Minnesota Twins, offered his condolences to the Murray family via Twitter.
“No one loved Twins baseball more than Pat,” St. Peter said.
The Murray’s steak sandwich was one of the first specialty foods announced when Target Field was built.
And many of Minnesota’s most famous athletes were treated to the Murray’s famous “Silver Butter Knife Steak.” WCCO Radio sports legend Sid Hartman would present guests of his Sunday morning sports talk show a gift certificate to Murray’s. Hartman was such a frequent patron that he was given his own booth at the restaurant.
“This is a sad day,” Hartman said. “He helped make downtown (Minneapolis) what it is.”
Murray’s is currently undergoing renovation, and will reopen in September.