July 12, 2024

Murph & Mary’s Pub launches long-awaited pizza menu

Newton bar utilizes a cold fermented dough that takes up to 72 hours to prepare

Conor Fudge, owner of Murph & Mary's Pub, pulls out a freshly baked serving of garlic cheese bread from the oven during opening day of the new pizza menu at the Newton-based bar.

Conor Fudge has moved from behind the bar to behind the oven. And it’s about time if you ask him. The owner of Murph & Mary’s Pub officially unveiled his long-awaited pizzeria menu this past week, giving customers a chance to order made-from-scratch pizzas that are still as personal and full of character as the bar itself.

Every detail — even down to the dough — is a labor of love. Fudge has spent a long time crafting the perfect crust, which is made from a fermented dough that takes upwards of 72 hours to fully prepare. The end result is worth the wait, and it acts as the base for all of the specialty pies and hot honey garlic cheese bread.

Hot honey garlic cheese bread is topped with arugula and served with homemade marinara sauce at Murph & Mary's Pub. The appetizer is made with the same fermented dough as the pizzas.

“It’s been a long 15 months to get here,” Fudge said. “But I’m happy it’s here and I’m glad we can finally cater to the entire community now that we have a food element, too. Everything is hand-crafted. Nothing is frozen. Everything is made from scratch. Me and my friends have been working on this dough for years.”

Murph & Mary’s is named after Fudge’s grandparents, Richard “Dick” Murphy and Mary Agnes Murphy, whose pictures and story are plastered on the walls of the Legacy Plaza pub. They were Chicago-born, second generation Irish-Americans who moved to Newton in the early 1950s and adopted two children.

Of course, Fudge gives a nod to his Rueben sandwich-loving grandfather with a specialty pie. The Dick Special is made with corned beef, baby Swiss cheese, thousand island dressing and sauerkraut. Even the bartenders at Murph & Mary’s who have turned their noses to sauerkraut say the pizza has turned them around.

Conor Fudge, owner of Murph & Mary's Pub, tosses dough in the air inside the pizzeria kitchen of the Newton bar.

Other pizza options include BBQ chicken pizza, Hawaiian, vegetarian, buffalo chicken, pizza margherita, The Greek and combo. Customers can also build their own with two or three toppings. Goat cheese and red sauce, a charcuterie board, bruschetta and the hot honey garlic bread are available as appetizers.

To Fudge, it was important for the pub to one day offer pizza to customers. He always considered it a huge comfort food. And it’s meant to be shared.

“It’s a family-centered place,” he said inside the kitchen of new pizzeria, whose windows overlook the passersby in Legacy Plaza. “I like that the public can see us make it and they know everything is fresh. Our sauce is all handmade and nothing is pre-packaged. Everything is shredded in-house.”

Conor Fudge, owner of Murph & Mary's Pub, prepares an order of garlic cheese bread inside the pizzeria kitchen of the Newton bar located in Legacy Plaza.

Pizza is served from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day the bar is open at 403 W. Fourth St. N., Building 17, Suite 104 of Legacy Plaza. Due to the long process in which the dough is made, supplies could run out. Fudge is excited to see how Murph & Mary’s will now fare as a “pizza pub” in the community.

“You can bring your kids, bring your family. You can sit down for a meal or sit outside and eat it,” Fudge said. “I wanted to keep it simple. I didn’t want to do a thousand different things. I wanted to do one thing really well.”

Conor Fudge, owner of Murph & Mary's Pub, this past week launched a pizza menu at the Newton bar. The pizza is made from a cold fermented dough that Fudge spent years perfecting with his friends. Customers came to Murph & Mary's in droves to try the new creation, which is something Fudge had been wanting to add ever since he opened in March 2023.
Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.