More than 60 people lined up outside Murphy’s Coffee & Bagel House on Saturday in eager anticipation of the grand opening, despite bitterly cold temperatures and heavy fog.
Murphy’s is off U.S. Route 29 in Ruckersville at the Deer Lake neighborhood entrance with outdoor seating adjacent to Reynolds Farm Pond and wall-to-wall windows looking out on the surrounding neighborhood.
Saturday’s sky was overcast and chilly as excited locals lined up to wait for the official opening at 10 a.m. and local small business owner Anne Kibler said, “This is the most exciting thing to come to Greene. And we are coffee snobs. We’ll be here a lot.”
Members of the Greene County Chamber of Commerce unrolled the ribbon and brought out the oversized scissors, and Alan Yost, Greene County Economic Development and Tourism manager, spoke to the crowd gathered outside. Isaac Murphy, the shop’s proprietor, welcomed his staff and everyone waiting outside and cut the ribbon before throwing open the doors to the warmth and tasty aromas waiting inside.
Involved in local property development for the past five years, Murphy saw a need in Ruckersville for a local gathering place for great bagels that also served specialty coffees.
“About 20 years ago, my father actually took authentic New York-style bagels to Australia, and the reception was fantastic,” Murphy said. His father’s business, called Bagel-O’s, had four locations in Australia with several more in development when they sold it to another owner a few years ago.
“As Australians, we’re used to having a coffee with our lunch, or even with breakfast—a nice specialty coffee with breakfast,” he said. He was disappointed at not being able to find quality bagels and quality coffee in the same location anywhere in the Charlottesville area, so of course he decided to build it himself.
“We spotted this property and then found out that there are 35,000 cars a day going past our front door here,” he said, though he seemed surprised by the sheer number of people braving the cold to come out for the grand opening.
“My wife and I have started up cafes in Australia, as well, specializing in specialty coffee and fresh brews,” Murphy said. The coffee supply comes from Lone Light Coffee, which blends and roasts its own beans right in Charlottesville.
The owners have tried to keep a bit of Australian flair in their menu, with the “Beaut Brekky” (bacon or sausage, egg and cheese on a bagel with barbecue sauce) and everything from plain cream cheese to lemon myrtle macadamia and jalapeno pineapple. Besides the specialty sandwiches, the menu features coffee and bagel combos, bagels individually or by the dozen with various spreads, and a variety of hot and iced specialty coffee drinks.
One item on the menu that visitors may not have tried before is the Australian Cappuccino.
“An Australian cappuccino is basically just a regular cappuccino, so a finger-width of foam on the top, but after you pull the shot you actually dust the shot with some cocoa and it caramelizes on the shot and then you put your foamed milk on top,” Murphy explained, sharing a photo of the chocolate-dusted cappuccino crema from their website. “It adds just that subtle chocolaty element to the drink, without being a mocha.”
Murphy noted that his new baristas are still working on learning to do latte art, but expects that once they master the ordering system and drink prep, they will work on this skill to improve presentation of drinks being enjoyed in-house.
Murphy’s will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday beginning Feb. 3 and will have a drive-thru as well as the indoor and outdoor seating areas.