DALLAS — The Murphy’s Grill sign was taken down Monday, as the now-closed restaurant is in the process of transforming into the new office of Dallas-based OpenRoad Transportation.
The long-standing restaurant closed last week following owner Mel Murphy’s decision to retire and sell the building to OpenRoad owners Mark and Liz Weisensee.
The couple started looking for a new location for their growing trucking and shipping logistics business a few years ago. The timing with Murphy wanting to retire was perfect, Liz Weisensee said.
“Our understanding was that he was ready for a change,” she said. “That’s why it became available.”
OpenRoad, along with three of the couple’s other ventures — a brokerage firm, a financial services company and an investment company — operates out of leased space on the second floor of the First American Title Company building at 807 Main St. in downtown Dallas.
Mark Weisensee said when the businesses first moved into that space in 2013, he had 12 employees. Now they have 170 employees and plans to grow. They believe the new location on East Ellendale in Dallas will help with that.
“We are excited about that location, being a hub, a central area where … it’s just more visible,” Liz Weisensee said.
Mark Weisensee said the building’s transformation from a restaurant to an office headquarters began on Friday. A contractor began removing the kitchen equipment and booths. On Monday, the old Murphy’s sign was taken down in preparation for installation of a new sign.
The awnings, lighting and color scheme will change with the remodel.
“Even though it is the same brick structure, it will really take the restaurant look away to make it look more like a professional office,” Mark Weisensee said.
Mark Weisensee said not all their 170 employees work out of the Dallas office. The new headquarters will house the companies’ payroll, human resources and IT departments. OpenRoad’s trucks will still be based in Salem.
Mark Weisensee said he hopes to move in by July 4.
“We would like to really grow,” he said. “I’ve run the operations side of the company completely until now, and I need help. We have two very talented, very good people coming in to help at a senior level, which will really help us grow even more.”