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Murphy's Deli & Bar @ 100 Fountain St

100 Fountain St
02903 Providence , RI
United States
(401) 421-1188
Toilet Paper: 
Somewhat well-stocked.
Venue Category: 

The Scrawl on the Wall

January 2014 . . . no problems

The men’s room at the iconic Murphy’s Deli & Bar in downtown Providence is a 25-square-foot box that can be either available and unobjectionable, or not. Just depends on when you need to fire away.

Murphy’s is somewhat of an icon in Providence. About a decade ago it moved from a block away to its current more-visible spot closer to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, which enables it to cater to sports and concert crowds coming and going. Combine that with decent lunch traffic and curious conventioneers, and the bar can be a decent hangout. You might even run into a politician you recognize.

Problem is, when the bar is busy the one-person-only (more on that later) bathroom is too small to accommodate the crowd, and lines tend to form.

And those lines are almost constant on Friday nights, when the nearby clubs empty out around midnight and Murphy’s morphs from a deli/bar into a meat market with DJs and grinding bodies. With more than a hundred drinkers and one men’s bathroom . . . well, you do the math.

Watching 20-somethings twerk can be entertaining, but there also can be a good show in the small hallway where kids who have had one Jello shot too many try to navigate their way in and out of the bathrooms. Every now and then the one-person occupancy rule is violated, with the unfortunate result being that what happens in the bathroom stays in the bathroom. (Fair warning: Under the right conditions DNA can last for hundreds of years.)

But that’s only for a few hours late on weekends. The vast majority of the time Murphy’s is a welcoming, decent place with a friendly staff and an OK if unspectacular place to eliminate waste products. They save money by using one-ply toilet paper and the wash basin is merely serviceable. And because of graffiti scratched onto the mirror, for a split second you might think you’ve been transformed into a post-plastic surgery version of Bruce Jenner.

Bottom line – it’s not the Ritz Carlton, but if you HAVE to go, Murphy’s will suffice.
Circlingthedrain Male, 69 years old.
Providence, Rhode Island
On January 22, 2014, 10:07 am
What I Did in Here: Got rid of rented beer