I grew up in York, PA”it was the first capital of the fledgling United States during the time the Continental Congress was hashing out the details of nationhood,”it was a good place to grow up. It”s about 65,000 people, has close proximity to Philly/Baltimore/NYC, and some great historic homes. I went to Penn State and did an undergrad double major in History and Political Science, and after that was in Teach For America ( for three years teaching in Houston, TX. After that, I moved to Colorado where I started working for TeleTech, a global outsourcing company, which took me to Europe, South Asia and Australia for 8+ years to live, work and, of course, have fun! I”ve spent almost 20 years working in the for-profit corporate world all-in, and it”s been quite the rollercoaster ride. My partner, Dr. Mary Therese Anstey, and I moved back to Denver in late 2004, where I got acquainted with Andrew Toole and Donnie Danesh, the founders of Scruffy Murphy”s Irish Pub, and when the opportunity came to join them as a partner in the business, I jumped at the chance. Eventually, Donnie and Andrew divested themselves from the business, and now I run it day-to-day as the Managing Partner, with two silent partners in the background. Their role is totally silent ” they don”t really take part in pub operations ” so most days I”ll be the one you”ll see at the pub! How did you go from your day job to owning an Irish pub? I had seen hurling, shinty and Gaelic football played (and did a bit of playing myself) while living in both Scotland and in Australia, so when I got back to the US I ended up finding the Denver Gaels, where I started to play hurling and, eventually, led the club as Chairman/President for a few years. Scruffy Murphy”s was one of the pub sponsors, so I ended up spending some time there after our games and practices, and really loved the authenticity that Andrew, Donnie and Craig Hostrup (their main bartender, and now our Manager) had built into the place. I started out working a bit with Andrew and Donnie just to talk through how they could streamline some processes, start building up some of the systems/processes/technology in the bar to broaden its appeal in the business community and the like. One day, over coffee, Andrew mentioned that he and Donnie were going to sell Scruffy Murphy”s and that they had a “corporate” buyer. A few of us in the Gaels were concerned that the authenticity of Scruffy”s would be lost if it “went corporate”, so we pulled together an offer, and the rest, as they say, is history! We partnered with Donnie and Andrew starting in November of 2008, and it”s been going great guns ever since. We”re an active part of the Irish community in Denver ” we sponsor the Denver Gaels and the Colorado Irish Festival, we”re one of the few venues still hosting Irish/Irish-American bands on a regular basis, and we have close ties to organizations like the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Irish Fellowship Society, Michael Collins Pipe Band and many of the Irish dance organizations as well. Are you enjoying being a pub owner? Ups and downs of the job? As anyone in the bar/restaurant industry can tell you, you put in a hell of a lot of hours running and growing a successful business. Not only is there all of the “front of house” stuff that people see when our doors are open”for every hour we”re open to the public and working in their sight, there are around 3 hours of work behind it, whether that”s managing inventory & orders, building staff, developing community relationships, driving events at/to the pub or doing the work and maintenance associated with being in a 130 year old building. Late nights, long hours and “lost weekends” in terms of personal relationships are a real challenge, and it takes a special, and dedicated type of person to make that work out well. That all said ” I LOVE IT! Sure, there are challenges, but when the head brewmaster from Guinness comes through your door and tells you that you”re pouring the most authentic/best Guinness pints in Colorado, or bands like Flogging Molly, Street Dogs, Seven Nations or Dropkick Murphy”s have made you their “Colorado Home” when they”re in town, it”s a blast as well as very gratifying”we must be doing SOMETHING right! As I like to say, it”s a labor of love”no one ever gets rich, financially, running an independent pub, but at the same time I can truly say that I have an almost immeasurable wealth of friends, contacts, experiences and relationships that are a direct result of owning and running Scruffy Murphy”s ” and for that I am VERY grateful. What are some of your most memorable events at Scruffy”s so far? Wow, there are so many”everything from the guy who proposed to his girlfriend (now wife) in front of the stage when Sixtysixdays was playing one night to nights when we”ve hosted benefits for our veterans come immediately to mind”those are the really important ones that continually happen. Of course, hosting Flogging Molly”s NYE 2008 post party until the wee hours of the morning was a ton of fun, as was having Nathen Maxwell (FM bassist) play our stage last September during an Open Mic session. We”ve been privileged to have good friends like Cody Donovan (MMA fighter) and Nate Marquardt (UFC fighter) spend memorable nights with us just hanging out, the guys from Street Dogs, Synthetic Elements, Flatfoot 56, Reno Divorce and Dropkick Murphys all knocking back a few pints around the bar when they”re in town, and the opportunity every year to host a huge “White Trash Party” to benefit Lost & Found, a very worthy non-profit organization here in Denver. What we”re really trying to do, though, is help other people make memories together at Scruffy Murphy”s ” maybe they”ve met some new friends, seen a band they”ve never seen before, or met that “special someone” in our snug or in our Beer Garden. THOSE are the kinds of memorable events that mean more than anything to me. What are some of the changes that you have brought to Scruffy”s? I like to say that Scruffy”s is still the same old Scruffy”s and that I”ve just added a few new and different twists to help people have a good time. We”ve added to the d”cor, to our staff, and to our involvement in the neighborhood/community, all of which are subtle additions to our presence on Larimer Street. We”re doing a TON more live music ” Thursday through Saturday you”ll find live bands every week ” and we”ve expanded the genres we”re hosting as well, with everything from Irish rock/punk to Alt Country to blues driven rock. Our Traditional Irish Session on Sundays is also a great way to unwind before having to go back to work the next day. Our menu has also expanded to include everything from Shepherd”s Pie, to Bangers “n” Mash (with bangers from Stephen McCabe at Edward”s Meats making it extra authentic), to some “bar munchie” stuff like Monster Pretzels, which are literally the size of a dinner plate. While we”re definitely not a restaurant (and don”t really want to be) we want to make sure that if you DO want something with your pint or your drink, that it tastes good. Out back we”ve expanded the entire area to build out a Beer Garden that is a ton of fun in the summer”you can sit out under the stars, enjoy a few drinks, have a great time with friends and still hear the band. The front patio is also a great place to people watch, especially as the night gets a little later and people on the street are all a bit, well, “merrier”. In our Field Room, which we can separate for private events, we”ve installed an LCD projector, large screen, separate satellite feed and high-speed WiFi access so that it can either be a party room (with its own bar, restrooms and entrance) or a place where a company or organization can come in, have a meeting in a relaxed atmosphere, and enjoy themselves. Finally, we”ve REALLY expanded our Scottish single malt, Irish whiskey and American whiskey/bourbon menu, hosting monthly whiskey/whisky/bourbon tastings with Marty & Dave Coffey of Cobhthaigh Celtique. After all, there”s nothing wrong with getting a little more education about the malt or whiskey you”re drinking and having fun doing it! You/wife/Scruffy”s are involved in ARAS (and other fundraisers) ” tell us about this on going cause. We do a lot to support non-profits at Scruffy”s ” that”s an important element in being a contributor to our city and a member of our community”those events are always fun and very memorable, especially because you know that at the end of the night you”ve really done something to make a difference in someone else”s life. Our areas of focus for non-profit support lie primarily with organizations focused on Veterans Support, Animals and Children, and we can get VERY creative when it comes to pulling together some major events to help them out ” again, it”s important to do more than just sling pints, especially when it”s for a cause. One of those nonprofits is ARAS, or the Animal Rescue and Adoption Society, which is a no-euthanasia, non-profit cat shelter in Denver that”s been around for almost 30 years, and which (like so many smaller non-profits) is struggling with dwindling dollars and support. While animal organizations like Denver Dumb Friends League and MaxFund receive the majority of funding and attention in Colorado, largely by virtue of the massive amounts of money they can spend on marketing, advertising and promotion, there are a lot of shelters like ARAS who need to operate on barely a fraction of that amount of money. It”s important to us that these smaller non-profits, like ARAS and others, that don”t have those massive budgets have someplace to be able to hold fundraisers, attract interest and gain support. Anything you want to plug for January or beyond? We”re getting VERY excited for St. Patrick”s this year for sure. We”ll have the entire Beer Garden covered with a tent, where we”ll be running a couple of extra bars and putting in a stage for all day bands on Parade Day (3/12) and St. Patrick”s Day (3/17), as well as hosting bands on most of the other days in that 10-day block. Scruffy”s 6th Birthday will be celebrated on Saturday February 5th ” it”s going to be a HUGE bash and a ton of fun, with a bunch of promotions, prizes and general shenanigans going on. Of course, we”re also both open for, and hosting, several private parties, and we”re working on another fundraiser for ARAS in late February or early March. Anyone can find out what”s going on with us”just find our FaceBook page and join as a friend, or bookmark our website ( and keep checking back. People can also join our mailing list ” I like to send out special deals and coupons/special invitations to those who have joined as a way to say “Thanks” for following us. Scruffy Murphy’s Irish Pub, 2030 Larimer Street Denver, CO 80205 303.291.6992

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