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A forced move might have been a bit of a blessing for Murphy’s Restaurant & Lounge, which reopened in mid-April with a new spot in downtown Corvallis along the Willamette Riverfront in The Jax building.

Murphy’s has seen a boost in business, as there’s plenty more foot traffic downtown and other advantages, such as being part of a scene and in close proximity to microbreweries, bars and restaurants.

On South Third Street, Murphy’s essentially was an island unto itself.

Nevertheless, owner Jeb Dunlap said he misses South Corvallis to a certain degree. After all, the establishment operated there for decades.

“We still see quite a few of the regulars. It makes me pleased, to be honest with you,” Dunlap said. “We built some really fantastic friendships and relationships down there.”

Murphy’s essentially was forced to close last June and move, he said. The owner of the business’ former Third Street location — where a restaurant or tavern had been since the 1930s, mostly using the Murphy’s name — wanted to raise the rent by more than double, Dunlap added.

Dunlap began operating Murphy’s in 2001 and has owned the business since 2004.

While the new space looks far more posh than the old location, and includes outdoor seating, the menu and service remains largely unchanged, Dunlap said. “We’re American style comfort food. Steak, seafood, pasta. We have something for everyone,” he said.

“I think we found some success with what we did in South Corvallis,” Dunlap added. “The game remains the same, but the stadium or the arena has changed.”

The sports metaphor is fitting, as if there’s an Oregon State University game on television, it will be on the TVs at Murphy’s. Dunlap is a big Beavers fan, and was excited about the success of the OSU baseball team.

Jen Dunlap, his wife, helped with some of the interior design at the new location.

Though Murphy’s was closed for nine months, eight employees returned, Dunlap said. And the business now has 22 employees, compared to 12 workers in South Corvallis.

Murphy’s, 118 NW Jackson Ave., is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The business also added a new happy hour menu, including drink and food specials, for 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For more information, go to the Murphy’s Restaurant & Lounge Facebook page or call 541-207-3175.

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Kyle Odegard can be reached at kyle.odegard@lee.net, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.

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Business Reporter