Murphy’s owners invite naming ideas for historic property

Rapid City Journal Article April 3rd  2011 by Barbara Soderlin

Father-and-son real estate developers Don Wieseler and Michael Wieseler of Century Development have bought the historic downtown Murphy’s Bar building and plan an interior gut remodel with the goal of opening a restaurant.General manager and partner Tony DeMaro said the plan is to create a restaurant with an atmosphere that respects the building’s architecture and history.

“Behind all the sheetrock that’s there now are these beautiful limestone walls,” he said.
The restaurant’s look and theme haven’t been finalized, but he said, “What we’re trying to do is establish it as the place to be in Rapid City again.”The city Historic Preservation Commission will hear a description of the plans at its meeting at 7:30 a.m. today at the City/School Administration Center, 300 Sixth St.

First National Bank foreclosed on the property at 510 Ninth St. in December 2009, after the former owner failed to make mortgage payments.The bank took bids from interested buyers, bank attorney Jeff Collins said Thursday. He would not disclose the sale price, and that information was not available from the Pennington County Registrar of Deeds, which had not finished processing the record of the sale on Thursday.

The 2010 assessed value on the property is $911,000. The liquor license is additionally valued at about $300,000, and Collins said the license will be transferred to the new owner, which is listed on city documents as Slainte, LLC, a company registered to the Wieselers.

The owners are looking for the commission to make a recommendation of “no adverse effect” to the state historical society, which will decide whether to allow a building permit for the work, since the building is listed as a contributing property to the downtown historic district. If the society decides against the permit, the owners can still appeal the decision to the Rapid City Council.

The proposed work includes demolition of interior walls, drywall, kitchen equipment, partitions, bars and bathrooms, and demolition of exterior patio roofs. The application does not include any description of what type of renovation will follow the initial demolition.

The area surrounding the bar has seen improvements in the last year, with Thirsty’s bar updating the building to the east and adding a patio, and with Bully Blends Coffee & Tea Shop remodeling a former title loan shop in the block west of Murphy’s.

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