Big Mur’s may have the most unique patio on the Prairies

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As you approach Dundurn heading south on Highway 11 from Saskatoon, you’ll notice some unique advertising — an old, bright-orange van on stilts for Big Mur’s Tavern.

That is a lot of work to grab your attention. And if you venture into town, you’ll find the establishment where the owners put a lot of effort into grabbing your attention, a place that has been passed down from father to son.

“He worked and ran it for a lot of years and then got into his senior years so we took it over, my wife and I,” said Gary Grady, the son of Big Mur.

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Grady wanted to add something different to the place to draw in customers and pay a little tribute to his father, so he started collecting things his dad enjoyed.

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Vehicles from the ’70s, as well as a boat from the ’70s, are part of the patio and the seating plan.

“A friend had a bus that he wanted to get rid of and we wanted something quirky and fun, so we cut the side out,” Grady said, “(and) added some cellular tower bulbs and a motorcycle on the roof.

“(We also have a) 1972 speedboat with an engine that I had laying around from an old racing day that we put together. You could sit in it and pretend you are out on Blackstrap Lake having a good time.

“Another friend down by Hanley, he had gotten rid of the frames and had these semi-truck bodies, he didn’t know what to do with them. And I said, ‘Well, I have an idea, we could put them in, make them as tables.’ Again, my father was a teamster back in the ’70s and he got a real kick out of the trucks.”

All of it works and makes it one of the most unique patios on the Prairies.

And if that is not enough, there is the monster truck version of a Radio Flyer wagon out front that sits about six feet off the ground and has seating for eight.

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Grady said he took on the project after a challenge from his son.

“He kind of made a joke to us one day that it would kind of be fun if we had a monster truck that was like a wagon. I’m that kind of guy that I will take a challenge any day,” he said.

“Kids love it, adults love it even more.”

The monster wagon has been driven in the Saskatoon Exhibition Parade and the Calgary Stampede.

Grady, who also goes by “Poor Gary,” offers this final thought on why you should make the trip to Big Mur’s in Dundurn: “I heard a funny statement not too long ago from a guy that said, ‘All the decks are the same, they just have different flowers.'”

“Ours is quite a bit different. We don’t have many flowers but we have a lot of cool trucks and stuff.”