PRESCOTT - The 1900 fire that destroyed downtown Prescott spared a brick mercantile building that J.I. Gardner began construction on 10 years earlier.
The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and has housed Murphy's restaurant since 1985. It became part of the Fork in the Road restaurant corporation, headed by siblings Mark Peterson of Prescott and Krystal Burge of Kingman, about 13 years ago.
The wood-paneled interior of the restaurant retains the original tin ceiling, and displays black-and-white photos of the Gardner General Merchandise store and other scenes from Prescott's past. Antique milk jugs are on display.
The overall appearance creates an atmosphere for fine dining.
"We call ourselves a steakhouse," said Kelli Welch, one of the managers at Murphy's. "We have fresh seafood, hand-cut and mesquite-grilled steaks. Mesquite makes it a wonderful flavor."
A fish company from Honolulu supplies the seafood, Welch said.
Welch, a native of Phoenix who has been on the job for a year and has spent 20 years in the restaurant field, said the downtown location is a draw for businesspeople and tourists.
"We are a dining experience," she continued. "We are in no hurry to get you out the door."
She said cooks at Murphy's prepare meals to order.
Murphy's serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, dinners from 4 to 10 p.m. daily and a Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Appetizers are served all day and range in price from $7 for potato skins to $17 for crab cakes.
Lunch consists of salads, sandwiches, burgers and specialty entrees.
Salads range in price from $8 for a house salad with tortilla soup to $16 for a mesquite-grilled steak salad.
Sandwiches range in price from $9.50 for a cashew chicken salad sandwich to $11 for a pan-seared crab-cake melt. Sandwiches come with a choice of coleslaw, garlic mashed potatoes, a cup of soup, petite house salad or French fries.
The same sides come with the mesquite-grilled items for lunch. They start at $9 for a "ho hum" hamburger to $13 for fresh salmon.
The sides also come with the lunch specialties that start with garden stir fry for $9.
Murphy's serves lighter dinner fare for the sunset menus from 4 to 6 p.m. Entrees range in price from $11 for a mesquite-grilled chicken and berry salad to $16 for a mesquite-grilled chipotle honey pork chop. Entrees come with a cup of soup or a petite salad, and fresh seasonal vegetables and a choice of garlic mashed potatoes or rice pilaf.
Dinner items from the mesquite grill range from $17 for rotisserie chicken to $36 for a large, slow-roasted prime rib and 16-ounce rib-eye steak.
Prime rib, steak and seafood specialties come with a choice of soup, house or Caesar salad; and garlic mashed potatoes, a baked potato or rice pilaf; and seasonal vegetables and fresh-baked bread.
Brunch entrees range in price from $10 for an omelet to $16 for a top sirloin steak and eggs.
Murphy's prime rib is one of the more popular dishes, and is served only at dinner and all-day Sunday. It is slow-roasted and made from Angus beef that has been aged for 21 days.