Remembering the Old Dillon Inn
June 23, 2011
When Bernie Murphy – first name, Mark – started working at the Old Dillon Inn, there were four other Marks on the staff.
“What’s your middle name?” they asked him. It was Bernard.
Thereafter, Murphy was known as Bernie.
It’s a testament to how his decade or more of working as general manager at the Old Dillon Inn affected his life, and to why he has opted to hold a reunion this weekend for past and present friends of the venerable Silverthorne honky tonk and Mexican restaurant, which closed in 2007.
“We were a special family there,” said the owner of Murphy’s Irish Pub in Silverthorne. “We’re all from the Buddy Nicholson family and we miss him dearly. He was the greatest guy in the world. The most generous man.”
Last fall, the old gang got together twice for more somber reasons – the death of Nicholson, who owned the Old Dillon Inn for three-and-a-half decades, and that of another friend, Mark Keyko. Old friends, including many from the Alamosa area, were glad to see each other, but it wasn’t the fun-filled occasion reminiscent of the old days, Murphy said.
“I decided to have a reunion for a happy reason instead of memorials,” he said. “It’s a platform for a lot of old friends to get together and come back for the weekend.”
And because music was a large part of what made the Old Dillon Inn what it was, he’s bringing back some ODI favorites: Tennessee Hat Band, Tumbleweed, Hired Hands (the next phase of Don Richmond’s career) – and the Richmond Brothers Band – whose CD release party coincides with the reunion.
“They just ripped it up and we became great friends,” Murphy said.
They all play on Saturday on the patio of Murphy’s Irish Pub, starting at 1 p.m. and going into the evening. Tumbleweed and Tennessee Hat Band also play on Friday, starting at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively.
With the smell of smoked pork butt and the tastes of the pub’s regular menu offered all weekend, the former bartenders, waiters, friends and regulars of the Old Dillon Inn will gather for the event, Murphy said.
“It’ll be awesome to hear that music that used to be played at the Old Dillon Inn,” he said. “It’ll be great to see the folks who remember the bands playing there.”
If you choose to join the party, don’t forget to ask about Old Dillon Inn’s past – and take a look at some of its history, plastered on the walls of Murphy’s Irish Pub.