To celebrate the return of fans to Yankee Stadium, the owners of Dylan Murphy’s, a sports bar on the Upper East Side of the city, shared their experiences of the last 12 months and a life loving football with NYCFC.com.
Tanner Smith: First of all, can you guys introduce yourself? How long have you owned the bar, and what made you decide to do it?
Jack Murphy: Hi, how are you? I’m Jack Murphy, you [Dylan] go first, I’m uncomfortable with this sort of thing [laughs].
Blake Dillon: Blake Dillon, owner of Dylan Murphys. We opened about fourteen years ago. We opened because we were bartenders in the neighborhood, and we just decided to venture out and do it ourselves, so we opened an Irish pub on the Upper East Side.
TS: And pre-pandemic, how would you have described Dylan Murphy’s to someone that had never been in?
BD: It’s a great neighborhood bar, great locals, good food, good for sports. It’s the best way to describe it. JM: That’s good enough for me.
TS: Can you guys talk me through your connection with NYCFC?
JM: We’re just a big soccer bar. We’re all soccer fans. You know, we’ve been going to the New York City FC games for a while. I’m also a Man Utd fan.
BD: I’m an Aston Villa fan, but we show all the Premier League games here. We’re available for all the games; New York City FC, World Cup, European Championships, we’re going to show them all.
TS: And what has this past year looked like for you?
BD: It’s been tough. It’s been a tough year for everybody, for all the small businesses, but it looks like we’re coming out the other side.
JM: The worst is over, I think.
BD: And with a lot of support from our loyal customers and from the neighborhood, we’ve got through it. We’re ready for better and brighter days ahead.
TS: People are now also coming back, but it seems like the food and beverage industry has been hit particularly hard during all this. Is that fair?
JM: Without a doubt. Even right now, we’re at 50%, and we’re closed at 11 o’clock. So there’s no sign of that change in either. We’re definitely behind everybody else.
BD: But we’re coming back, slowly but surely we’re coming back. And we’ll get there soon enough. When people get vaccinated, I think it’s just going to get better as we go forward.
TS: What do you feel like that resurgence is going to look like when the city starts to open up?
BD: We hope so. I believe we can see it already at 50% that people are definitely willing to come indoors and stuff like that. I can only see you getting better and better as we go.
JM: It will take time, but it will get better and better. A lot of people are going to be afraid to come inside, so that’s going to take a little while to get back to normal, but it will get there.
TS: You guys got a nice little set up outside with tables and chairs. Is that something you would like to continue?
BD: Yeah, absolutely. We’re praying that we can keep it because we took such a hit last year because of the pandemic. This is a good way to recoup some of our losses. So please, God, let us keep it.
JM: It’s good for us. But the customers love it too. It’s perfect [on days like today].
TS: What are you guys just looking forward to in 2021?
BD: Having a busy bar with a good atmosphere, that’s what we want.
JM: You can’t create the atmosphere right now. You know, closed at 11:00 PM everybody has to be sitting down all that. Just for people to have some fun, get back to normal—the new normal.