Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Box Up Those Memories: Yulee Restaurant Closes; Last Rib-Eye Served as Murray's Grille Ends 16-Year Run

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Box Up Those Memories: Yulee Restaurant Closes; Last Rib-Eye Served as Murray's Grille Ends 16-Year Run

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan

What was once called Yulee's "hot place to be" has gone cold.

Murray's Grille served its last rib-eye steak on Saturday night, then closed for good.

In a message on their Facebook page, co-owners Larry Murray and son Scott Murray bid farewell to the Nassau County community the restaurant had called home for 16 years.

"We will miss all of you. God bless!," the message from the Murrays and their 25 employees said in closing.

Larry Murray said the recent economy hit them hard as diners and revenue dropped. A bank will auction the building on Tuesday May 6, 10 days after its last Saturday dinner with sad fans, the 80-year-old Murray said.

"There are a lot of good memories, but you still reflect on the fact that you became a non-profitable operation, which is sad. We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it and made a lot of friends," Larry Murray said. "[Saturday night patrons said] 'We love you.' and 'We can't believe this is happening' and 'We don't know where we are going to get wings and a good steak.' "

The restaurant had been the monthly meeting place for the Amelia Cruizers, Car Club. The club also held hot rod cruise-ins on the second and fifth Saturdays of every month, filling the parking lot with gleaming chrome, club vice president Gary Marlow said.

"We knew they were trying to sell it and worried about that," he said. "They have a special meeting room upstairs and we had used that since they had opened. It has been a perfect place and everyone liked the food. We were kind of shocked when we heard about it."

Larry Murray is a chemical engineer who moved to Fernandina Beach in 1979 and got into the restaurant business with a Western Sizzlin Steak House in 1982. The family operated other restaurants, then built Murray's Grille in 1998 at 463852 Florida A1A, with a Winn-Dixie supermarket and a traffic signal as neighbors. …

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