Nothing good usually comes from gossip, but in the case of Murphy’s Restaurant and Destination Bistro, it was a rumor generated from a Facebook group that brought the two food establishments together.
A rumor circulated online that Destination Bistro was closing, but before owner Rob Del Balzo could correct the record, the rumor had already spread to his friends and colleagues in the restaurant business.
Patrick Murphy, co-owner of Murphy’s Restaurant, heard the rumor and told close friends of Del Balzo that if Destination Bistro was indeed closing, Del Balzo and his staff were welcome to run the kitchen at Murphy’s.
While the rumor about his restaurant was untrue, Del Balzo began to ponder a partnership with Murphy’s and had trouble finding a reason the two shouldn’t join forces. Del Balzo, a New York Times-reviewed chef who has been featured on many cooking shows, including “Chopped,” was delighted at the prospect of cooking full-time and letting Murphy handle the business side of things.
Murphy agreed and a partnership was born. Destination Bistro will close its doors Dec. 31, and the following day will bring most of its menu and kitchen staff about a mile down the road to Murphy’s Restaurant. Murphy, his three siblings who co-own the restaurant, and Del Balzo will be equal partners in the restaurant as well as Del Balzo’s catering business.
“We hammered it out pretty quickly,” Murphy said. “It’s a golden opportunity for both of us.”
Murphy called it the “best of both worlds,” as Del Balzo has excelled in the kitchen while Murphy’s is known more for its hospitality and nightlife.
“It was kind of an easy merge,” Murphy said. “You’re taking his strength and my strength.”
Jan. 1 will be somewhat of a homecoming for Del Balzo, who worked in the same kitchen 15 years ago when the restaurant was still known as Hanover. That restaurant eventually closed and Murphy’s opened up in 2006.
For now, the restaurant will remain under the Murphy’s banner. And you can stop suggesting Destination Murphy’s, which has already been suggested to Murphy and Del Balzo dozens of times, the two joked.
Del Balzo said the new-look Murphy’s Restaurant menu will be a “marriage” of Destination Bistro’s and Murphy’s current menus. Many have already lobbied for Del Balzo to keep Murphy’s shepherd’s pie, as well as his crab cakes.
Additionally, “We’re going to introduce new stuff to Yorktown,” Del Balzo said.