Murphy’s Bar & Grill serves you, the community

By TJ Rhodes
Posted 11/29/23


As we enter the season of giving – the Christmas season – Murphy’s Bar & Grill in Riverside is preparing a conclusion to their year of giving back.

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Murphy’s Bar & Grill serves you, the community



As we enter the season of giving – the Christmas season – Murphy’s Bar & Grill in Riverside is preparing a conclusion to their year of giving back.

Murphy’s is a big contributor to the community, participating in fundraisers on a monthly basis to the tune of different charitable beats.

In the month of November, Murphy’s collected non-perishables for local food pantries, filling more than two Dollar General grocery carts.

“We’ve had some super great donors that [have] played a huge part in [our fundraisers]. We’re excited to give to the local food bank here in town,” Murphy’s general manager Jenny Grecian said. “That is super rewarding, not only for us as employees, but for the community as well.”

Now, as December fast approaches, Murphy’s is beginning their giving tree. A giving tree is a chance to give less fortunate children a gift this holiday season. Grecian describes it as fun.

And it is easy to participate.

Once you walk through the doors of Murphy’s, look to your right. Boom, you’ve found the mighty giving tree. Select a card, which will have written on it a child’s age accompanied with gift ideas. Then, purchase as many gifts as you want, wrap them and bring them back to Murphy’s. Afterwards, they will be brought to the local elementary school for the kids to enjoy

The local bar and grill, which serves locally sourced products from businesses like Bud’s Meats in Riverside, started their fundraising kick after a local act of vandalism. Across the street, La Chiva Loka was broken into in July 2022 and Murphy’s started a fundraiser where folks could donate to help the clean-up process.

Owners Carrie and Kirstin Westcott, who re-opened Murphy’s last year after taking over the business, wanted to broaden their fundraising scope after helping La Chiva Loka, starting with the Susan G. Komen breast cancer walk, and decided that each month could provide new and fun ways to help support the community.

Grecian explained that the process for deciding the next fundraiser theme is a team decision and that owner Carrie Westcott is “very good” at making it interesting and engaging.

“We have a group of us that get together and just brainstorm. We asked the staff, ‘Hey, what organizations are you passionate about, what can we help support?’” Grecian said. “Carrie is a huge supporter of community organizations, keeping local dollars local [and] giving back. Carrie is super great; you give her a topic and she can come up with so many different ideas, which is super cool.”

Their ideas have ranged from food drives to a visit from furry friends at Paws & More, an animal shelter in Washington.

Grecian does not know yet what the new year will bring for Murphy’s fundraising efforts, but already has some initial ideas that she’ll bring to the table, like Valentines for veterans.

Fundraisers are not the only way Murphy’s connects with the community. They support local athletics and booster clubs when presented the opportunity, further cementing their dedication and hard work as a pillar of the Riverside community for over 25 years.

After changing ownership, Murphy’s changed up their menu for a more focused, streamlined showcasing of food, but the new owners kept the name, a signal of that deep-rooted history.

“People still kind of associate the name with the previous owner, but we’re trying to do new things to stand out, such as all of these fundraisers and really supporting the community. I think that’s kind of what sets us apart from others,” Grecian said. “We do have a prime location right here on Main Street [and] the quality of our food [helps] set us apart.”

Because of new signage on Interstate 380, Murphy’s sees a lot of outside traffic entering Riverside for a taste of their menu. This helps further their fundraising reach. And themed nights like wings on Mondays help bring back the regulars.

Murphy’s Bar & Grill plans to continue serving the community in more than just table service.

“[I] love giving back to the community. Just knowing that you’re making a difference to somebody or helping somebody out, no questions asked, that’s the biggest thing for me,” Grecian said. “We want people to know that we’re here for them [and] open to any and all ideas to support.”

Riverside, Murphy's Bar and Grill, Iowa.