LEAV­ING THE NEST

Af­ter 43 years, Richard Mur­phy closes his eclec­tic and pop­u­lar restau­rant, the Eggs Nest

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Paul Kirby pkirby@free­manon­line.com paulat­free­man on Twit­ter

More than four decades ago, Richard Mur­phy col­lected his nest egg and plopped it down on a for­mer 19th cen­tury church par­son­age.

Mur­phy, then a 28-yearold vet­eran ho­tel worker, even­tu­ally cre­ated the Eggs Nest restau­rant us­ing the saved money, switch­ing the words around to form its name.

Over the years, the now 72-year-old restau­ra­teur de­vel­oped an eclec­tic es­tab­lish­ment with med­i­ta­tive gar­dens and an in­te­rior splashed with Bo­hemian charm. The words “Hope,” “Kind”, “Soul,” and “Nest” are em­bla­zoned on the façade.

To­day, the Eggs Nest restau­rant, a vir­tual in­sti­tu­tion at 1300 state Route 213 in High Falls, is up for sale.

Mur­phy said the restau­rant of­fi­cially closed July 30, the date he was born. He and his wife, Gillian, had op­er­ated the restau­rant.

“It has been a long time and we have been very suc­cess­ful,” said Mur­phy, an artist who now lives on the grounds. “I am humbly grate­ful.”

It was in Oc­to­ber 1973 when Mur­phy opened the Eggs Nest in the build­ing where Ed and Fran’s Tav­ern had op­er­ated. It was orig­i­nally built in 1869 as a par­son­age for the Dutch Re­formed Church of the Clove Val­ley.

The restau­rant had em­ployed be­tween 15 and 20 peo­ple, Mur­phy said.

For years, Mur­phy said, he had been em­ployed in the ho­tel in­dus­try, in­clud­ing as a waiter at the Mo­honk Moun­tain House in

New Paltz. He moved to the Hud­son Val­ley in the 1960s.

“As a trav­el­ing ho­tel worker, com­ing to Mo­honk was spe­cial and dif­fer­ent for me,” Mur­phy said. “Mo­honk lit up my cre­ative vi­sion of hav­ing a home here in High Falls.”

Mur­phy said he pur­chased an old garage and con­verted it into a home. “(It) was a great way to start my cre­ative life in a vil­lage in which I would spend most of my life,” he said.

The Eggs Nest open­ing, he said, was event­ful.

“The Eggs Nest was suc­cess­ful from the day I opened, and it was a hoot,” Mur­phy said. “The first day I ran out of beer, and my Mo­honk friends went to the vil­lage store and gave me a case as an open­ing gift.”

In the years since, the restau­rant evolved, par­tic­u­larly its spir­i­tual in­te­rior, which Mur­phy de­scribes as “a rec­og­nized gallery of ec­cen­tric, quirky, and fun art.”

The in­te­rior, he guesses, has been painted more than 100 times over the past 40 years.

“My art has been rec­og­nized

for its jovial and col­or­ful Frida Kahlo bril­liance,” Mur­phy said. “I have al­ways dec­o­rated and painted the walls of The Eggs Nest when­ever I get the cre­ative bug, which is of­ten. I have al­ways painted overnight, since the restau­rant was open from 11:00 to 11:00 daily. A pot of cof­fee, some paint and a brush, and I would go non­stop overnight for weeks at a time.”

The Eggs Nest web­site de­scribes the restau­rant as “the Cen­ter of the Uni­verse” and as a “liv­ing can­vas, one that con­tin­u­ally evolves and changes over time.”

“Our aim is to pro­vide you with a feast for your eyes as well as your body & soul,” the web­site says.

And then there was the food.

“The food his­tory be­gins with Jumbo Sand­wiches and fancy cock­tails for which we were later known,” Mur­phy said.

The menu, like the in­te­rior, evolved.

“(It) slowly but surely evolved into the restau­rant whose menu was changed and honed, un­til The Eggs Nest be­came the restau­rant with a large Amer­i­can menu,” Mur­phy said “Our most pop­u­lar item, The Thanks­giv­ing, which con­sisted of all the fix­ings from Thanks­giv­ing, served in a sand­wich.”

“Other items were cre­ated over the years; the Prae­seux started out in the 1980s and “con­sists of a pizza-like tor­tilla crust with var­i­ous top­pings,” Mur­phy said.

“The last cre­ated and very pop­u­lar Fig & amp; ap­ple puree Prae­seux was topped with fresh ba­con bits and al­ways a lit­tle fresh spinach for color and taste,” Mur­phy said.

Daily spe­cials in­cluded fresh fish, chicken, beef and veg­etable dishes.

So­cial me­dia has played an im­por­tant role in get­ting the word out about the Eggs Nest, which has drawn peo­ple from all over the globe, Mur­phy said.

In 2015, Mur­phy said the restau­rant ex­pe­ri­enced its most prof­itable year.

Mur­phy says he’s not sure what’s in store next — prob­a­bly lots of walk­ing, per­haps a move to Ari­zona.

But he does know one thing.

“I will al­ways be a High Fal­lo­nian,” Mur­phy said. “Here’s to the vil­lage peo­ple I dearly love and re­spect and will be for­ever in deep grat­i­tude to th­ese won­der­ful mem­bers of the Cen­ter of the Uni­verse in Mar­ble­town, New York.”

PHOTOS BY TA­NIA BARRICKLO — DAILY FREE­MAN

Richard Mur­phy, owner of the Eggs Nest in High Falls, sits with paint brush in hand in front of one of the many walls that were his can­vas.

The Eggs Nest was a pop­u­lar venue for more than four decades.

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