Murphy’s Tavern in Rumson Named ‘Best Small Town’ Bar in US
Monmouth County has been receiving a lot of "best's" lately, but are we surprised?
Obviously, this honor was given before COVID, but we'll still take it.
Lifestyle website Thrillist went state-by-state identifying the best small town bars in the Country. We were excited to see a Rumson mainstay get the spotlight.
Congratulations to Murphy's Tavern! What a great choice by Thrillist, and man, what a history Murphy's has.
Their trademark sign says "since Prohibition," and they're not kidding. Murphy's has been serving spirits on Ward Lane since 1856!
Legit rum-runners and smugglers would pass through this basement on the Navesink. Fast-forward and you can still get the ultimate speakeasy experience.
Check out what Thrillist had to say.
You won't find graffiti on the walls of Murphy's Tavern, or denizens doing/taking illicit things in the bathroom while their buddy named Blitz watches the door. But you will find one of the most under-the-radar (and not in a BS, fake "speakeasy" way) bars in the entire country. Murphy's is a cozy room stuffed to the wood paneling with friendly faces in a no-frills basement of some dude's house in a residential neighborhood in Jersey -- more known for country clubs and one-percenters than quality watering holes. The bar itself is a relic of Prohibition, where rum runners would wet their considerable beaks when they weren't smuggling booze. And nowadays, Murphy's still flies so low that some people that actually grew up in Rumson will go their entire lives without knowing it exists. There are fried apps that riff on Jersey classics (pork roll fries!). There are local beers (Carton Brewery!). There's a bustling shuffleboard table and a jukebox with more classic rock standards than your dad's iPod Shuffle. If the small-town bar is meant to exemplify a total lack of pretension and pomp in the name of old-fashioned, booze-swilling fun, Murphy's is the prototype. And hey -- you might run into Geraldo Rivera (he lives in walking distance). But hopefully, you won't. -- WF