9 things to know about the new Caddyshack restaurant

By
Teddy Greenstein
Chicago Tribune

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 | 10:00 a.m.

ROSEMONT, Ill. — The first Murray Bros. Caddyshack restaurant opened 17 years ago in St. Augustine, Fla. Why did it take so long to come to Chicago?

"We don't do things real fast," Andy Murray said.

"As a matter of fact," Bill Murray added, "we're still painting the house."

CEO Mac Haskell said the Murrays considered locations at Navy Pier, near Wrigley Field and in the West Loop before opening across the street from the Rosemont Theatre.

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Bill, Andy and Joel Murray met with reporters before Tuesday's 11 a.m. opening. By then a line had formed to enter the 8,600-square-foot space, which has 237 seats, 31 TVs, a giant bar, tons of "Caddyshack" memorabilia and gear, Cubs and movie posters and a giant menu containing the slogan "Eat, Drink and Be Murray."

Here are nine things to know:

1. Murray is surprised but not shocked that "Caddyshack" is still celebrated: "It had some of the greatest funny people of that time. Ted Knight was a really stupid-funny guy. Harold Ramis directed it. Doug Kenney was one of the greatest comic minds; he wrote it with Brian (Doyle-Murray) and Harold. Rodney Dangerfield? One of the most dangerous people you will ever come across. You think you want to party? Careful. Chevy (Chase). Everyone was funny in the movie. There was a freedom because we all thought we were pretty good, so we were loose and got to improvise."

2. Murray originally had only one scene, but then the producers would "call back and say: You want to come back down? Yeah, all right. If you're in Chicago and you can be in Florida in the winter? There's no rush. And we were in Davie, Fla. The golf course was right on the approach to the Fort Lauderdale airport. When a plane came over, they'd say: 'Cut!' Sometimes there would be nine planes in a row, so you'd go: Let's take a break. And we'd have like 45 minutes and have a good time."

3. Murray got two hours of sleep after performing his orchestral show Monday night in Houston. (Tribune classical music critic John von Rhein called it "unique and hugely enjoyable.")

Murray took great pride in getting the Houston attendees to sing a few verses of "Go Cubs Go," starting with "Baseball season's under way ..."

"They were singing along before they realized what it was," he said. "Then the booing began. But we got 'em! Then we had to acknowledge they were the champions of the world."

Murray performs with cellist Jan Vogler and said, "No one sees this show coming."

4. Murray grew up in Wilmette and caddied at Indian Hill Club in Winnetka: "We had nine kids. People used to joke that the food was lowered in a cage and then released, and the children were allowed to attack it. That's why some of the children were a lot smaller than others. Andy is one of the larger ones.

"This (restaurant) has that feeling of a family kind of a place."

5. The menu is remarkably diverse, featuring everything from buffalo Brussels sprouts to a fig and prosciutto flatbread to Spaulding's Hack salad (similar to a Cobb) to wings to prime rib to a Caribbean jerk pork sandwich to burgers to a quinoa bowl.

I'd award birdies to the chicken tacos and Crispy Potato Golf Balls (fried mashed potato rounds loaded with cheddar and bacon and served with horseradish sauce), a par to the jerk pork sandwich and a bogey to the fig flatbread. Now if only those Golf Balls could be served on tees ...

6. Murray's most iconic Cubs moment? It came, as he put it, on 8-8-88: "I was able to get my hands on 25 tickets; they were the worst seats in the Wrigley Field right-field upper deck. My mom was exhausted by the time we got to the seats. And then the rain began, and it was coming out of the north right into our faces. The first batter hits a home run off (Rick) Sutcliffe, and then it got worse.

"One of the TV (production assistants) finds me and says: 'Bill, would you mind helping Harry (Caray) fill the next hour and 45 minutes?' Harry needed a little help because he was very excited about the game. It was supposed to be the first night game, and then the rug gets pulled out from you. It's a good Chicago joke; I like it."

7. "Caddyshack" is true to the Murray brothers' experience. "Every bit of it's true. The explosions, all of it," Murray said to laughs. "The first scene of the caddie trying to escape his house from his brothers and sisters, that's what it was like in our house. You had to slip out of a door so that someone else would be forced to do dishes.

"It's a very American movie. It's not a French film or a Iranian film. It's informed by the way we grew up, as working kids. The films (movie posters) on the wall are the result of the work ethic you learned as a caddie. I think everybody should caddie. You learn a lot of about how to treat people and how you like to be treated. It was the most informative education."

8. Murray said his "heart" remains in Chicago: "You have Cub blood and Bear blood and Blackhawk blood beating through your body all the time. I have no problem with the White Sox either. When the Cubs won, nobody was talking about the defense or the relief pitchers. They were talking about their uncle or their dad the first time they went to a ballpark.

"My sister still lives in the house we grew up in. We get to crash there whenever we want."

9. What is golf's appeal to Murray? "People think golf is an elitist game, and it's not really. Most of the people playing golf are at a muni course. We came to golf through caddying, a way to earn some money and to not be such a burden in the household. We paid our own tuition at high school (Loyola Academy). It kept us sort of fit. Kept us out of the house.

"I've met some extraordinary human beings through golf. It is the only game of self-reporting. You keep your own score. There's no umpire. There's a code, an idea, that you're expected to live up to. If you've ever played golf with someone who cheats, you never play golf with them again. Never, ever. Life isn't even like that."

This article is written by By Teddy Greenstein from Chicago Tribune and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.