In the classic 1980 motion picture directed by Harold Ramis, Murray played eccentric gopher-slayer, Carl Spackler. “At last, a comedy with balls!” was one of the movie’s taglines.
Located in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, the restaurant’s golf-themed menu features crispy potato golf balls, double-bogey cheeseburgers, and “caddy-shakes”.
In an opening-day interview with WGN-TV, Murray said the new restaurant – located not far from his old family home – was “the happiest that I’ve been about anything, although the bacon’s good too.”
“Just that feeling of casual fun is what it is” was his descriptor of the experience. “It’s really kind of a first responder restaurant. When you land at the airport, you jump in front of a car and say ‘get me to a beef sandwich,’ I think they’ll get you here.”
The walls are lined with famous phrases from the movie, posters of other Murray films and photos of the Murray family.
“The posters are nice; they are movies that you love that not everyone loved. Some of my favourites aren’t other people’s. It’s fun for me to see the pictures of my brothers and sisters and parents. You look at that and say, ‘That’s a life.’ The movie posters are, ‘That’s a career,’ but the family pictures are a life.”
The Ghostbusters actor was also pleased to announce an environmentally-friendly retro twist to the beverage service.
“Paper straws are back, and they are back for good. I always loved paper straws, and then plastic straws got out of control. They are really dangerous, you know. Nothing you can do with a plastic straw but end up in the ocean. Paper straws feel really good,” he said to WGNTV.
Murray revealed that, initially, he only had a single scene in Caddyshack, but the producers called him back to flesh out the character they believed could add more to the story.
The film itself was more than just entertainment for him; it was symbolic of taking responsibility as a youth and earning one’s keep.
“Caddyshack really was about breaking down barriers. It’s a very American movie. It’s informed by how we grew up, and we really were working kids. I think everyone should work as a caddy. You learn a lot as a caddy about how to treat people and how you like to be treated. It was the most informative education,” noted Murray, who along with his family, are co-owners of the restaurant.
“People think that golf is an elitist game, and it’s not. For us – we came to golf through caddying, to earn some money, so as not to be such a burden in the household… We paid our own tuition. It kept you sort of fit, kept you out of the house, there wasn’t enough room… We did have this great learning experience. It made us what we are. It was really very formative.”
The recent restaurant was the second Caddyshack-themed; the first opened in St. Augustine, Florida, in 2001.