CHICAGO — As the Lakeview community mourns the loss of a popular business owner and prominent member of the neighborhood, so does the manager of the Chicago Cubs.
Before his team’s start to their three-game series with the Padres this week, David Ross gave a tribute to Beth Murphy, the late owner of Murphy’s Bleachers, during a news conference Tuesday.
The head of the popular bar located just outside of Wrigley Field and president of the Wrigleyville Rooftop Owners Association died at 68 on Monday after a five-year battle with cancer.
“Beth is a obviously a staple of this neighborhood and Murphy’s and the establishment on the corner there a lot with (Murphy’s general manager) Freddy (Fagenholz), who runs it,” said Ross on Tuesday. “Beth was just a phenomenal human and has opened up that space for a lot of events for a lot of my family.”
Murphy was the owner of the popular bar located at the corner of Sheffield and Waveland Avenues since 2003 after the death of her husband Jim. A former Chicago Police Officer, he bought the bar that was previously known as Ray’s Bleachers in 1980.
“Beth, she’d been fighting that battle with cancer for a really long time so she’s in a better place. But she’s probably one of the more kind people you’re going to meet and be around,” said Ross. “A special, special person and a real special person to a lot of people that have been in the Cubs’ organization.”
Ross recalled how Murphy helped him during the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020, when he moved to the neighborhood in his first year as the Cubs’ manager. That’s when the team first waited to play and then eventually took the field for a shortened 60-game season.
“During quarantine in 2020, my first year, I stayed right around the corner with no fans, and she fed me a lot,” said Ross. “It was nice to have somebody cooking over there when things started to open back up a little bit and having a place to go and grab a bite to eat and take it back to my place was fun.”
On Twitter, Murphy’s Bleachers publically announced plans to honor Beth.
- Wake – Friday, April 28th- Grein Funeral, 2114 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago – 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Celebration of Life – Saturday, April 29 – Murphy’s Bleachers – 1:20 p.m. to 5 p.m.