Not only do Benchwarmers Pub and Grill and Longbranch Bar and Eats share a proximate location on Depot Street, they also share an owner in Matt Scarfo. Both eateries are La Grande institutions and each has its own unique character and ambience.
Benchwarmers has the historical distinction of being the second-longest running bar in the Pacific Northwest. They are currently looking to add it to La Grande’s historical landmarks to be part of LGMSD vision of Downtown. Longbranch Bar and Eats has been around since the early 1920s and is newly renovated to update its facilities and design.
Known for having great food and service at a reasonable price, Benchwarmers Pub and Grill also has Oregon lottery machines and a full-service bar with a celebrated happy hour. They have full-screen TVs for sports events and 20 beers on tap, as well as being available for events catering. Benchwarmers is open from 11 AM with closing being variable, depending on customer flow.
Longbranch Bar and Eats is known for its home-style cooking, along with the most reasonably-priced food and drinks in town. They also have a full range of Oregon Lottery offerings, including Keno, Powerball, and Megabucks. In addition, Longbranch also features a juke box with a full selection of tunes, free popcorn, and a dart board. They are open from 7 AM to 2:30 AM seven days a week.
Both of these establishments have a storied place in La Grande history and the memories of patrons going back decades. As the world and La Grande have changed, Benchwarmers and Longbranch have evolved to reflect the zeitgeist of the times. Community is important to each--from celebrating a Mountie victory at Benchwarmers with friends and family to meeting up at Longbranch to get a wake-up cup of bar coffee and a very early breakfast at 1 AM after cramming for an exam. Throughout the years, they both have claimed a place in the heart of Downtown and the folks who visit.
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