September 4, 2017:
It has been a great summer at the Ritchey! We have been working hard and steady and have been bringing the humble structure back to life. We have completed major structural repairs to the wood frame portion and we have all new plumbing and electric almost ready to go. We even found time to completely restore the little shack in the back which also dates back to the late 1800s.
Now we are starting on the window and wood floor repairs and the reconstruction of the bar. We have been meticulously saving all of the artifacts that we find, and there are a lot! We’ve found bullets and buttons and bottles and coins and marbles and ladies hair pins and even a pair of suspenders.
Thank you all!
August 5, 2017:
Wow! Here at the Ritchey it has been a heck of a year so far! At the beginning of 2017 we were just wrapping up a crowdfunding effort where many more people than I ever could have hoped for participated, showing a community wide commitment to the restoration of the Hotel Ritchey. My everlasting thanks to everyone who contributed! And since then there has been much activity on the corner of 5 th and Murphy St.
Work on The Ritchey officially began at the beginning of June and since then there has been major progress on the big ticket items including upgrading the electric, installing new plumbing, building bathrooms and a utility room, and repairing the foundation. We are also fixing the clapboard shack in the back which was built in the late 1800s as a residence.
The Ritchey was in such dire need of TLC that it had been slated for demolition in the recent past. It was in such disrepair. I can’t begin to express my gratitude to this community and to all of the friends of The Ritchey who have made this transformation possible. And we are just getting started. It is too early to say with certainty when we will be open for business but I will keep y’all posted. Thank you!
February 6, 2017:
What has been happening at the Ritchey lately?
Since the close of the crowd funding effort (Thanks, everyone!) quite a bit has been going on behind the scenes. Those of you who were at the Mercado event may recall my mentioning of an odd little hoop that needed jumping through concerning a sidewalk. It turns out that the City of Alpine owns the sidewalk directly in front of the Ritchey and in order to rebuild the two-story wraparound porch the city would have to determine first if they want to sell the sidewalk and then for how much. This is apparently the one way to get to put the porch back where it was. I was asked to write a proposal with a thorough explanation of why the city should sell a sidewalk to me. I submitted the proposal to the city manager last week who will then present it to the council.
This is the big week where the council will review my request and if they agree then we get to hire an appraiser to determine just how much a sidewalk costs.
January 30, 2017:
My crowd funding campaign is officially closed and I want to again thank everyone who contributed. I know that finding money to donate is not always easy to come by so I want to acknowledge everyone who pitched in with a really big thank you. Please stay tuned. I will be posting detailed updates throughout the week.
The Hotel Ritchey, once called City Hotel, is located on Alpine’s Historic Murphy Street in the Big Bend region of West Texas. Built in 1886, it was the working man’s saloon and hotel on the south side of the Union Pacific railroad tracks.
It has been nearly half a century since the Ritchey was open to the public. In this first phase of our restoration we will reopen the saloon portion of the building along with the courtyard and two-story veranda as a modern day saloon specializing in fine wine, beer, coffee, tea and casual cuisine. The Ritchey will also be a community oriented arts and performance space.
We are eager to reopen the Ritchey, but we need your help. We have given it a face-lift and a lot of TLC. Now is the time for the big stuff. Before the Ritchey can again be the community social hub it once was, the plumbing, electric and foundation need to be brought completely up to code—and that’s expensive.