Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

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Local Restaurant Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Janiyah Gaston
Balloons floating in front of Longbranch Café and Bakery at 25th Anniversary Sept 29, 2023 at Longbranch Cafè and Bakery in Carbondale, Ill.

Longbranch Cafe and Bakery joined the list of eateries in Carbondale 25 years ago. The restaurant is located at 100 E Jackson Street, where it has resided since 1998.

Longbranch spent the week celebrating its anniversary with multiple events in the community and at the restaurant. A farm-to-table jazz dinner was held on Friday.

“The Kyle McDonald jazz quartet, they played at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. seatings for the dinner hosted here at Longbranch,” owner Elaine Ramsyer Greenberg said.


The dinner consisted of a four-course meal of soup, salad, a pasta entree and macaroons with coffee for dessert. Aisha Ruperto, an SIU student, created the menu and prepared the dinner.

“To showcase a young person in a local family, and then also like local food from a farm, like the squash in the soup, that’s why I’m excited to celebrate,” Greenberg said.

Since the restaurant is vegetarian, the meal consisted of fresh vegetarian-based foods. The meal included a gluten free option as well.

Longbranch is open Wednesday through Sunday, with items ranging from coffee to assorted pastries and lunchtime items. Everything is made in the kitchen at the restaurant.

“One of the best selling items on the menu is the biscuits and gravy,” Greenberg said. “My mom was from Atlanta and I grew up eating biscuits and gravy, I didn’t know there was anything else to eat until I started going to pajama parties.”

Since the opening of Longbranch, it has had a crowd of regulars who come in to dine or get their daily coffee. The restaurant has strived to create a sense of community where people feel welcomed to be themselves and come back, Greenberg said.

“You see couples get together as kids and it’s crazy, people have been coming here for 25 years and you get to see them grow up,” she said.


In the last 25 years, Longbranch has made some notable accomplishments. It has raised its number of employees and showcased local artists, displaying their work on the walls of the restaurant. The back room is also used for multiple events, such as square dancing and salsa nights.

Throughout the time that Longbranch has been open it has faced some struggles. But Greenberg said the restaurant has prevailed despite this.

“So there are a lot of crazy allegations, people have their own experience. Now I know better and I do better,” she said.

Greenberg said being part of the Carbondale community is important to her.

“I don’t think we were made to go at it alone,” she said. “So the more we can know each other and love each other, that’s our hope for the world. I’m not in the business to make money, I think the largest accomplishment is just creating community.”



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    PariOct 10, 2023 at 12:19 pm

    It’s absolutely gross that the DE is promoting these people. IT’S A CULT. A literal cult. Everyone you see in the photos are members working for free. Longbranch got in trouble with the Federal Govt Dept of Labor for that very practice.
    Everyone you interviewed is in the cult and told what to say.
    Is it not enough that they stole $100k from employees or that Elaine’s husband has been accused of sexual, emotional and financial abuse?
    That restaurant is literally how they recruit new members, frequently from the SIU population.