A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from April 23, 2021
Big Apple Cafe (Puryear, TN and Murray, KY, 1950s-present)

The Big Apple Grill & Bar is located at 1005 Arcadia Circle in Murray, Kentucky, and has a long history serving students from Murray State University. The establishment has also been called “Big Apple Tavern” and “Big Apple Cafe.”

In the 1950s, Big Apple operated just south of Puryear, Tennessee. on U.S. 641, and was known as an African-American establishment. Murray (KY) had blue laws, and students from Murray State made the short trip (about 10 miles) to the Big Apple. The Big Apple held a wet T-shirt contest in 1977 when many Murray State students were arrested, and newspapers called the establishment “Big Apple Tavern.” Newspapers in 1985 and 1994 (and later) used “Big Apple Cafe.”

In October 2001, the Big Apple moved to Murray, Kentucky.


Big Apple Grill & Bar
History
Down to the Core - An Inside Look at the Big Apple Grill and Bar

Some would say The Big Apple is not only a staple in Murray and Calloway County, but also a vital and integral part of the stability for the surrounding community. The Apple has been, and remains a rendezvous point for locals and students attending Murray State University for more than two and a half decades providing mental balance for those seeking a good meal and a cold drink.

Though The Apple is not native to Kentucky, it has served Murray residents and given a place of comfort and companionship since the 1950’s. Originally located just “south” of town in Puryear, Tennessee while Murray was plagued by the Blue Laws that restricted the sale of alcohol, The Big Apple Grill and Bar moved to its current location at 1005 Arcadia Street in October 2001 after liquor by the drink was allowed in the city limits. Regardless of location, The Apple has become a landmark in the eyes of the public and a restaurant recognized for its’ original take on Mexican cuisine, great entertainment, and one-of-a-kind atmosphere.

Many changes have occurred throughout the years. The original building owned and operated by Bill Rowe, was constructed in the 1950’s and was primarily known as an African-American establishment. Times changed, as did the ownership when Skip Chambers, from South Carolina, and Robert Danielson, of New Jersey, bought the business and reopened on April 1, 1983 expanding on the tradition that is The Big Apple Grill and Bar.

Both Chambers and Danielson have become an integral part of the Murray experience. Both raised families and integrated into the community. Danielson, a Murray State graduate, and Chambers have supported MSU sports and are very active in the community. Danielson’s wife, Debi, head of the Big Apple kitchen before retiring, now heads the Murray Art Guild. You can usually find Skip on a golf course and Robert at the Murray Central Park.

On October 2, 2001 after nearly 20 years in Puryear, Tennessee, Chambers and Danielson moved the restaurant to nearby Murray, Kentucky.

Newspapers.com
5 April 1977, Sun-Democrat (Paducah, KY), “Wet T-shirt match helped spark fracas” by Bill Bartleman, pg. 2-A, col. 5:
MURRAY, Ky.—The excitement of braless co-eds in wet T-shirts, the latest college craze, apparently sparked a fracas at the Big Apple Tavern near Puryear, Tenn., last week which resulted in the arrests of 202 persons, most of whom were Murray State University students.

Newspapers.com
25 March 1984, Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader, “Local band to be high note of American Jazz Festival” by Walter Tunis, pg. D8, cols. 1-2:
“We’ve played some dates at the Big Apple Cafe in Tennessee and have had a really receptive response there,” he said.

Newspapers.com
25 February 1994, Paducah (KY) Sun, “Nightlife,” pg. 4B, col. 2:
THE BISQUITS: Big Apple Cafe, Puryear, TN, 10 miles south of Murray on U.S. 641, 9:30-midnight, $4.

Newspapers.com
23 May 2001, Paducah (KY) Sun, “Restaurant & Entertainment Directory,” Extra sec., pg. 9, col. 5:
BIG APPLE CAFE
Mexican Food
Sat. May 26—Hoosier Daddy Live

641 South, Puryear, TN

Newspapers.com
31 March 2002, Paducah (KY) Sun, “Business across line in Puryear is not as good now” by C. D. Bradley, pg. 6A, col. 1:
The former top destination, the Big Apple Cafe, closed and moved to Murray last fall.

“The only reason Puryear had what it did was because Murray was dry,” sai Skip Chambers, co-owner of the Big Apple. “Somebody could make a run of it, but the boom days are over.”

Twitter
BigAppleCafe
@bigapplecafe
We have been a Murray area and Murray State tradition for over 32 years. Great food, great service, great bar, and a great
atmosphere, come check us out!
Murray, KY bigapplemurray.com Joined September 2010

Twitter
BigAppleCafe
@bigapplecafe
Originally located just “south” of town in Puryear, Tennessee, The Big Apple Café moved to its current location in October 2001.
2:10 PM · Sep 19, 2015·Hootsuite

Twitter
Rosemary Grace Parke
@SarverRosemary
Replying to @SalamandersuitE
Best food service employers ever were the owners of Big Apple Cafe in Puryear, TN. All the Mexican food you could eat and all the beer you could drink were free while working. I was always a cheerful worker
2:32 PM · Aug 16, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Clifton Darnell
@Cliff8Darnell
Replying to @SallyMaelstrom @punishedpope and @sdequus
Few from Murray went all the way to Paris for drinks.  Big Apple Cafe & Jack Taylor’s among others were just across state line in Puryear.
2:40 AM · Sep 15, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityThe Big Apple1940s-1950s: Assorted Big Apple citations • Friday, April 23, 2021 • Permalink