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February 26, 2010

End of the age of Aquarius

Here's the piece I have in today's paper about last call at the pair of Rochester bars, Aquarius/McMurphy's.

And I'm on duty Saturday, so I'll be there Saturday night for the last rounds. If you are or know a fan/employee/former employee of Aquarius/McMurphy's, I'd like to hear people's thoughts on this and their memories.

I'd also like to know where Aquarius/McMurphy's regulars plan to be next weekend.

The age of Aquarius and McMurphy's Sports Cafe, in Rochester, will come to an end Saturday night

Since Tom Murphy first built Dooley's Lounge and Grill on the site at 12th Street and Marion Road Southeast in 1977, it's been a Rochester night-life legend. Later, the attached Aquarius Night Club was built with its N49230808441_1505767_334967 spaceship-style entrance, and Dooley's was re-named McMurphy's.

Murphy is changing his focus from the southeast Rochester bars to a new sports grill in downtown. He's naming it Dooley's in a tip of the hat to the bar that opened 33 years ago. He hopes to open the new place on First Avenue Southwest in May.

After the 2 a.m. closing time on Sunday, Aquarius and McMurphy's will get a facelift and a new feel. Darren Groteboer, of Rochester, and Ken Nash, of Minneapolis, will take control of the space. They have owned the buildings that house the bars for five years. The combined bars will be under one name, which has yet to be determined, said Groteboer.

Fans of both bars have been posting nostalgic goodbyes on McMurphy's Facebook page. A celebration is planned for Saturday at McMurphy's, with free hors d'oeuvres from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

While many patrons and longtime staff members have fond memories of nights at the two bars, the businesses have also attracted controversy with fights and a shooting near it in recent years.

That reputation has made closing time at Aquarius/McMurphy's a regular part of Rochester police patrols and the newly formed chapter of Guardian Angels.


I'll miss watching Mayo docs do their freak dance with 20-year-old coeds at the Aquarius. This indeed is a sad occasion.

Yeah, no nostagia here I'm afraid... All I can say is too bad it's not staying down.

nostalgia that is.

When Aquarius first opened it was a blast! It was neat the way they started the night by moving the lights up and down over the dance floor. Then at the end of the night they played "Age of Aquarius". Of course this was in the early 90's when things were MUCH tamer.

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