Starting off as a small bar with only 14 stools over 80 years ago, Murphy’s Pub and Grill in downtown Rapid City has seen its share of changes over the years.
While the business started in a building just down the road from its current location, Murphy’s had to be relocated in the 1980s.
“One of those neon [beer] signs fell off the wall and fell onto a couch, started the place on fire, and it burned down,” said Ginna Bragg, the general manager for Murphy’s.
But after reopening in the ‘90s, this time as both a bar and a restaurant, the establishment has become a well-loved staple to the Rapid City area over the last three decades.
These days, Murphy’s menu boasts an array of sandwiches, sides, and signature entrées, with something to please everyone who walks through its doors.
“It’s a fun vibe, it’s a friendly vibe. I like to think I have one of the top staffs of chefs in the city.” – Ginna Bragg
“One of the most popular items for sure is our Buffalo Meatloaf,” said Bragg. “It is stuffed with mushrooms, wrapped in bacon, and served with mashed potatoes and asparagus. It’s the one that we sell the most of.”
Another fan-favorite dish includes Fancy Fried Pickles, an appetizer of fried pickle spears wrapped in prosciutto and stuffed with mozzarella.
Murphy’s hosts local live music outside on its patio every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.
Murphy’s entrées vary between unique signatures, like the Buffalo Meatloaf, and more traditional pub food like Fish & Chips, beer-battered fish with malt vinegar and housemade tartar sauce.
For those looking for something a bit more familiar, Murphy’s offers sandwich options like the Dakota Pulled Pork, served with watermelon-jalapeño barbecue sauce and pepper jack cheese.
There’s also a variety of burgers on the menu, like Pop’s Burger, served with bacon, green chili, and cheddar cheese.
Bragg has her own favorites on the menu that she recommends to any newcomers to the restaurant.
“Our [Grilled] Salmon entrée is amazing. Absolutely try the salmon if you’re here,” said Bragg. “Shepherd’s Pie is also a fantastic dish.”
On The Menu
With sriracha aioli and smoked pepper aioli.
Choice of buffalo, strawberry-habanero Asian, or watermelon-jalapeño barbecue sauce.
Sautéed Granny Smith apples, caramelized onion, and brie cheese.
Bacon, fried jalapeños, fried onion, and pepper jack cheese.
Mashed potatoes, asparagus, and garlic-herb butter.
Chicken and Chips
Beer-battered chicken tenders.
The creations of the almost completely scratch kitchen aren’t the only things people come to Murphy’s for. The establishment’s bar prides itself on its wide selection of local beers and wines.
“I have a great tap beer selection. We like to represent local within the state, and so we’re probably about 70% local right now,” said Bragg about their selection of drinks.
The bar carries beer from breweries like Lost Cabin Beer Co., Spearfish Brewing Company, and Dakota Point Brewing. As for wine, one brand Murphy’s offers is Prairie Berry Winery and its signature Red Ass Rhubarb wine.
Along with a wide selection of menu choices and a taste of local brewing, Murphy’s also offers a hidden surprise for those looking to experience something unique: a secret speakeasy underneath the restaurant.
“It’s kind of word-of-mouth only. We don’t do a lot of advertising for it, but that’s how a genuine speakeasy was run,” said Bragg.
“There are regulars that come back constantly, and sometimes [people] on vacation. They’ll come once, and then they’ll come back all three nights because they love it.” -Ginna Bragg
An homage to the origins of the bar, The Blind Lion makes its drinks in the traditional methods of the speakeasies of the 1920s and ‘30s during Prohibition.
“They get blocks of ice [and] drinks are all handcrafted,” said Bragg. “It takes time to make the perfect cocktail.”
Bragg says the friendly, upbeat atmosphere of Murphy’s is what keeps people coming back.
“We welcome everybody, and we love it,” said Bragg. “I really think it’s that comfy, welcoming, hometown feel [and] atmosphere.”