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Murphy's Subs in Hamilton closes doors after 38 years


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When Albert Murphy opened up on Dundurn Street nearly 40 years ago, he was a young man, taking a chance, on a new business. But Murphy’s Subs stayed afloat, and both the sandwich shop, and the owner, became a true Hamilton fixture. But as Scot Urquhart reports, there’ll be a hole in Hamilton’s west end come the new year. An absence created by the loss of one the city’s most iconic, and best loved, eateries.

Albert Murphy has been doing this since 1976: “A lot of hours. No holidays. Work, work work.â€

For 38 years, the man called Murph, and his wife Demetrea have been working side by side. But nothing lasts forever: “I’ll be 68 soon. So, ya gotta stop some time.â€

And that time, he says, is very near. Thousands of hungry customers have come and gone from Murphy’s shop, counted in bags of buns: “16 to 18 dozen a day. The best day we ever had, was 27 dozen.â€

By rough reckoning over six days a week, Murph and Demetrea have made nearly half-a-million sub-sandwiches. Dozens of them for long time customer Terry Ward: “How long you been coming here?? Ahhhh, about 20 years or so, eh Murph? 20 years anyway. It’s always been reasonable and it’s always been friendly, and I know where I am, will be sorry to see him go.â€

Murph says, there are a number of reasons behind the decision. One being the lingering affects of a severe beating he took, nearly two and a half years ago: “I still have headaches. Headaches all the time. They started to go away for a bit, then just came right back again, so.â€

But the final straw for Murph had nothing to do with age, or health: “These bike lanes. They put the bike lanes in and that killed our business.â€

So Murph says it’s time to wrap it up. Maybe head back home to Nova Scotia and see some family: “Little place. St Anns Bay. Beautiful country. Beautiful in the summer time. Not so beautiful in winter.â€

Sense of humour intact, Murph says it’s time, and he and Demetrea plan to sell the business and the building, very soon: “We’re done at the end of the year. Whether the business is gone or the building is gone by then, I don’t know but we are!

After four decades, it will leave Dundurn street a little more hungry, and a little less full.

CHCH News here

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