Becky Williams comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. Her family owns one of the first Ford Dealerships in the area (as well as a Ford Tractor dealership) and she, along with husband Dick, built several businesses in Garrett County. The first of their businesses, American Burger Center, opened on August 18, 1978, forty years ago this month. American Burger Center was one of the first chain restaurants in the area and was a cross between Dairy Queen, KFC and McDonald’s, offering hot, delicious food quickly for busy people on the go.
In 1993, the couple wanted to expand their business to do catering and to realize a long held dream of owning a bar. They wanted to use some land they owned in Mt. Lake Park, a former ball field but faced several hurdles before opening including some outdated zoning and liquor laws. Those who know Becky, affectionately referred to as Miss Kitty by her patrons, know she doesn’t back down from a fight and got herself elected to the Mt. Lake Park town council in order to affect some much needed changes for the area.
The Long Branch Saloon opened in 1993, a lounge with a country atmosphere where all locals as well as visitors could feel comfortable and at home. It quickly became a local destination for conversation, reasonable prices and showcased some of the area’s top country and rock music bands and artists. In 1997, the American Burger Center shut down so the couple then focused all their efforts on The Long Branch and in 1998, the couple began serving a full dinner menu there that continues to be one of the finest the area has to offer.
Realizing that out of town guests and workers needed modern accommodations in the Oakland / Mt. Lake Park area, they further expanded their business in 1999 with the opening of The Long Branch Hotel. The couple, along with their daughter Autumn, worked to not only provide delicious food and comfortable, clean and modern accommodations (the hotel was completely renovated in 2010), but they strived as a family and as business owners to give back to their community by participating in the U.G.L.Y. (Understanding, Generous, Lovely & Young-at-heart) fund-raiser for Multiple Sclerosis, sponsoring local sports teams and a major supporter of the now defunct Red Neck Olympics.
Sadly, Becky and Autumn lost Dick five years ago to cancer, but his legacy lives on in the wonderful businesses they created together and all the customers served over the past forty years.
The menu today at the Long Branch is much the same as when they opened, featuring tried and true favorites. The Williams family has always prided themselves on offering the finest quality food available, especially when it comes to their meats. Their menu features Tenderloin, Filet Mignon, Delmonico and New York Strip Steaks, all fresh, prime meat hand-cut on site. They also have a variety of seafood dishes on the menu including crab cakes, shrimp, fish and salmon. Their appetizers, homemade soups and fresh salads will complete any meal…and don’t forget to save room for a piece of their Death by Chocolate cake.
Don’t miss their daily features. Monday features a special Happy Hour from 4 to 6 PM with free pool and $13 Bucket of Domestic Beer (5). Wednesdays remains one of the most popular nights because it features their famous deep fried wings (fresh, never frozen) with your choice of 13 delicious sauces. Can’t decide on a favorite flavor? Mix and match!
Thursday features Dick’s BBQ Special, Pulled Filet Mignon or Half Rack of BBQ Pork Ribs featuring Dick’s special barbecue sauce…a meat lover’s heaven. Friday’s feature is freshly steamed shrimp, by the half pound or pound, but get here early, they will run out. Friday and Saturday is also Prime Rib Night, their delicious slow roasted prime rib served with your choice of two sides. You’ll return again and again for this favorite.
New this year is “Nacho Ordinary Tuesday” with your choice of chicken or beef nachos, quesadillas or taco salad for just $6.00. Chase it down with a $3 Margarita or $15 Bucket of Beer (5).
The motel features 12 rooms including nine regular rooms, two efficiency suites and one handicap accessible unit. Each room includes a mini fridge and the efficiencies also offer a cook top. And because this is the Long Branch, each room is named for a well-known figure from the Wild West, from Jessie James to Wyatt Earp.
The Long Branch Saloon & Steakhouse is located along Rt. 135 in Mountain Lake Park. The Saloon and Steakhouse is open Monday through Saturday at 4:00 p.m., with dinner service starting at 5:00 p.m. For room rates or to see their complete menu visit them online at www.lbsaloon.com.
Stop by soon for a delicious meal and to offer congratulations to Becky Williams, Garrett County’s own “Miss Kitty” and one of the savviest and nicest business women around.