Murray’s Restaurant demolished; patrons remember fondly

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – For nearly 80 years, Murray’s Restaurant stood tall in Bowling Green, inviting legislators, city-folk and tourists from all over in with its Mom-and-Pop style dining. 

By the 1950s, the restaurant drove in many from near and far who drove across the highway. Before the interstate came to town in the 1960s, everyone who drove thru Bowling Green traveled by Murray’s. 

Bowling Green City Commissioner Sue Parrigin was one of the restaurant’s frequent customers among other city leaders. 

“20, 30 years ago, we had Murray’s Restaurant here. We had a lot of really vibrant diners where community leaders would come together,” said Parrigin. “Mainly on Saturday morning, you could come over here and find Jody Richards and, the sheriff, and local city leaders. It made those folks accessible to the general community.”

When Sue moved to Bowling Green as a Western Kentucky University student in the late 70’s the smells of homemade breakfast wafted to her from across the bypass. From then on, she knew there was no turning back. 

“I ate here a lot. We came here the entire time it was open,” Parrigin remembered. “My husband would bring my son over to Judy’s Castle before school and have bacon and eggs and things, and it was a big thing.

John Bunch has lived around the Bowling Green area his whole life. He came to Murray’s on and off for 20 years. Like Sue, he ended up introducing his own children to the restaurant. 

“I brought my daughters here for breakfast,” recalled Bunch. “It was always a good time. Good people. I’d come here in the mornings with a men’s group, and we came together and talked about God and life. There’s not a whole lot of places like this left anymore. It’s all commercialized, and we don’t really have family places anymore.”

For John, it was a shock to see the landmark reduced to rubble.

“This place has been here for a long time, a long long time. For them just to tear it down, it was a surprise to me,” he said.

Parrigin said, “To see these kind of icons go away, I don’t know what’s going to become of the spot right here, but I hope it’s another place that brings our community together.”

News 40 will provide updates about the land as they unfold.