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Murphy's Tavern has been a fixture at Penn for 35 years. And it looks like it just might see its 36th birthday, since its liquor license has been renewed until October 31, 1996. Murph's, located at 44th and Spruce streets, has been in danger of being shut down since the Pennsylvania State Liquor Enforcement Board officers issued multiple citations last year to the establishment for underaged drinking. Murph's had been operating since last November under temporary authority from the Liquor Control Board. But now the popular student and neighborhood hangout can look forward to at least one more Homecoming and one more New Year's Eve. Last October, the annual renewal of the bar's liquor license was suspended because of allegations that owners Joseph and Jim Murphy abused their licensing privileges. In late January, citations were issued to 63 underage drinkers. In March, Jim Murphy and six others speaking on behalf of Murph's testified in front of the LCE. Joe P. Ryan, the attorney representing the Murphy's, said he was enthusiastic about the license renewal. "I was happy that a long-standing establishment on campus was able to save their business," Ryan said. He added that the liquor board must have conceded that it is tough to keep underage drinking out of college campuses. But Ryan said Murphy's was not unfairly targeted by the board. "The board gave the licensee an opportunity to explain extenuating circumstances," he said. Murphy's has received nine citations since its license was issued in 1960, each charging it with the sale of alcohol to minors, according to Bettina Bunting, an LCE officer. Graduate School of Education employee Billie Meeks, who testified in March on behalf of Murph's, said she was pleased to hear the news. "I'm happy that they got their license renewed," Meeks said. "I think any college bar is really going to be susceptible to frequent appearances from the [Liquor Control Board]." At the hearing in March, Jim Murphy testified that he has become more vigilant about underage drinking during the past year. He said he fired a bartender and a waitress promptly after the January incident. LCE officers issued 32 citations to underage drinkers at various campus bars during an April 21 raid. Minors at the Palladium, the Blarney Stone, Cavanaugh's Restaurant, and Walsh's Tavern received citations. Joseph Murphy refused to comment on the issue last night.

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