Co-owners Bill Sheals and Gary Moore, who opened Murry's on July 1, 1985, have been the best of friends since the former hired the latter more than 30 years ago as a bartender at the Brass Bed, a now- long-since vanished nouveau bar-eatery with a dance floor.
You would never know, given its established standing as one of Columbia's most popular, enjoyable and locally owned restaurants during the past two decades, but getting Murry's, whose slogan is "Good Food, Good Jazz," off the ground was not without trial and tribulation - this despite the fact that from the start the two owners had a very good idea of what they wanted to do.
By the mid-1980s Sheals already possessed a wealth of knowledge about the food and beverage industry having worked and managed in various Columbia and St. Louis establishments. Moore, meanwhile, in addition to his ongoing bartending experience, had served as a city planner in Mexico, Mo. The pair felt they could carve out a niche for themselves. They sensed, in non-braggadocio fashion, that at the time Columbia lacked a restaurant that offered all of the following in roughly equal dosages: a neighborhood feel; a comfort level for anyone who came through the door; higher quality food that was prepared to order; extensive hours of operation and customer service that was elevated beyond the standard bar-type vibe on the one hand but delivered unpretentiously on the other.