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First St. Patrick’s Day parade since closing of popular Irish store shows promise with new tenants


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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) – 219 South Phillips Avenue has always had a front-row seat to the annual Sioux Falls St. Patrick’s Day parade.

It was only fitting that its tenants for 26 years used it to sell Irish gifts. This year’s parade was the first in decades without Mrs. Murphy’s Irish Gifts. The building is not empty, though. During the parade, the new tenants were there to give a preview of things to come.

Mrs. Murphy’s Irish Gifts was a dream for owners Dick and Sandy Murphy to run. Both look back fondly on their time there and what made the place special.

“For me, it was creating the atmosphere where people could celebrate their Irish culture,” explained Dick Murphy. “As we walk up and down the street today, people were pointing out their sweaters or pointing out some piece of jewelry that they got and it’s all part of their lives now.”

“It’s the people that came in. We made so many friends at the store. A really good 26 years, but retirement’s really good, too,” Sandy Murphy said with a chuckle.

The Murphy family has participated in all 44 St. Patrick’s Day parades in Sioux Falls. The Murphys are eight months into a new phase of life. They still take part in the parade, but after retiring last summer, it was the first parade in decades without the store. It might be odd to passers-by to not see their green sign in the window, but the Murphys are encouraged to see what their old spot is becoming.

“It’s not weird. It’s really good to see what downtown continues to be. 26 years is a long run and yet again, we like to see where downtown continues to grow,” said Dick.

“And today, it’s much more relaxing after the parade because we don’t have to rush back to the store,” Sandy added.

Retirement is treating the Murphys well. They’ve been able to travel without feeling the need to hurry back to the store, like a trip they made to England to visit family within the last year.

They’re happy to see new tenants plan to start their own generational legacy in downtown Sioux Falls. Marcela Salas along with her mom, Patricia Burbine, and her fiance, Chris Nelson, are in the process of preparing to open a nixtamal Mexican restaurant called “BibiSol”. The restaurant will focus on ancient Mexican indigenous food using fresh, local produce and practices like nixtamalization, a traditional way to process maize. Burbine and Salas will also continue to make Salas Salsa products through the new business venture.

“It’s a huge blessing,” Salas explained. “It’s an amazing opportunity to be in this space. My mom and I always dreamed of having a restaurant, but we thought we’d work for it and you know one day it’ll happen. It happened a little bit sooner than we expected and God has a way of blessing you with things and you just take them and you roll with them. We’re excited to create that legacy as well. The owners of Mrs. Murphy’s are so sweet and so kind and they built their legacy and we’re so excited to do the same.”

“It sounds so exciting and we’ll definitely be coming down to check it out when it’s open,” Sandy said.

“It adds a warm and welcoming atmosphere and she’s created that already. We want to be a part of welcoming people to the downtown always,” said Dick.

You can expect to see BibiSol open up in May and as always, you know exactly where to find the Murphy family on the day of the St. Patrick’s Day parade for years to come.

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