102 East Murphy St.
Alpine, Texas 79830
Murphy Street (originally South Front Street) is located on the south side of the railroad tracks that run east-west through Alpine. Due to fires in the downtown district north of the tracks (in 1888, 1907 and 1911), Murphy Street’s commercial buildings are some of the oldest in town. In 1886, on the southeast corner of 5th and Murphy Streets, the City Hotel was built as affordable lodging for train passengers, cowboys and railroad workers. The two-story wood frame and adobe building is now one of the oldest frame structures still standing in Alpine. It became known as the Hotel Ritchey after being sold to the Ritchey family (the same family owned the Ritchey Brothers Building in Marathon).
The Hotel Ritchey had ten rooms to rent upstairs and a bar downstairs where guests could get a drink and a home-cooked meal. As the post-WWII country shifted from rail travel to the automobile, motor courts replaced many of these simple railroad hotels. The Ritchey closed to the public in 1946. It received Texas Historic designation in 1965 but this did little to halt its degradation by time and the elements. It is one of only a few railroad hotels of its kind still standing in Texas.
The building changed hands several times throughout the years until it was bought in 2012 by Mattie Matthaei, who had the vision, determination and support to lovingly restore the Ritchey into a modern-day saloon featuring fine wines, craft beers, food service on the weekends and frequent live music. The building reopened in March 2018 as The Ritchey Saloon (or just “The Ritchey”), once again providing a casual and friendly meeting place for both locals and travelers.