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Dewitt businesses prep for 20,000 people to take over the town for RAGBRAI

The town will quadruple in size while riders in town Friday

DEWITT, Iowa — RAGBRAI riders have been slowly inching their way closer to Clinton County over the past 5 days. The stop on Friday night is in Dewitt, Iowa. The town and businesses have been prepping for 7 months for the riders.

Right in the heart of downtown Dewitt, Murphy’s Pub closed for business Thursday to allow themselves a full day of prep. Co-owner Connor Murphy works with his parents. They expect to serve 500 people over the course of the day. It’s by far the biggest event they’ve ever prepared for. Connor saying, “Our biggest event we’ve ever catered is 150.”

The restaurant started getting food ready Monday. Murphy saying, “We started getting in dry goods, all that stuff last week and it’s been 10 plus hours in the kitchen every day.”

The pub will be serving corned beef, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. Murphy says he hopes the traditional Irish meal is just the carb-loaded meal riders need to make it to Clinton Saturday. Murphy saying, “Everybody says they don't like cabbage until they've had ours.”

Roughly 60 people will help serve food tomorrow at the pub. It’s a combination of employees, family, friends, and volunteers taking on the workload. Murphy saying, “We had no shortage of people step up to offer to volunteer.”

In total the restaurant is prepping over 1,000 pounds of food for riders to eat. Murphy breaking it down saying, “About 200 pounds of potatoes, 300 pounds of cabbage, and 150 pounds of carrots. We actually cooked over 400 pounds of corned beef and we have a whole kitchen staff coming in tomorrow to get that ready by noon.” In addition to food, the pub will have 60 beers on tap as well.

Murphy's will begin serving food tomorrow at noon. Beverage gardens and shops will be open by 11:00 AM and they expect to see the biggest rush of riders in the early afternoon hours.