LEAVING THE NEST
After 43 years, Richard Murphy closes his eclectic and popular restaurant, the Eggs Nest
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.”
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.