The Branch Bar and Public Room arrived in downtown Centralia in 2016. Since then, the establishment, owned by Joel Wall and Chris Bruce, has gained a loyal following and become a destination for visitors to the Hub City.
Located at 202 Centralia College Boulevard in the same building as the Centralia Square Grand Ballroom and Hotel and Berry Fields Cafe, The Branch is just across the street from George Washington Park and within walking distance of any downtown business.
The Weekender caught up with Joel Wall to ask about the business two years after its opening.
The Weekender: Describe the menu and what you look to offer guests.
Joel Wall: We are fortunate to have an incredible chef in Anthony Eckerson. He understands how flavors and textures combine to offer a unique dining experience, Branch Bar & Public Room Thrives Behind Scratch Kitchen and Makes Plans to Expand which of course is our main goal.
Our menu is very multicultural. It changes often and uses many components that, pieced together, make amazing dishes.
TW: What makes The Branch different from other restaurants in the region?
Joel Wall: What makes The Branch different from many of them is that we are a scratch kitchen, which means dishes are created from individually prepared components.
Chef Anthony’s recipes are often quite detailed. A good example is the Pork Belly Ramen, The Dashi (Broth) is the combination of three prepared stocks, including Japanese tare’ (soy reduction). The Pork Belly takes a full day’s brine and another to cook in confit.
He also makes his own Kimchee. Spice blends are actually toasted and ground in house. The attention given to the components adds a cultural element to the dishes and enhances the many flavors.
TW: Anything else customers should know about The Branch?
Joel Wall: We are a walk-in restaurant. We don’t take reservations except for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, the Lighted Tractor Parade, etc.
We also offer seasonal special event dinners that are by reservation only. The next dinner will be on Wednesday, Aug. 29. It’s a seven-course midsummer dinner on the terrace upstairs. In the past we’ve done a fall dinner called “The Hunt and Harvest” as well as a “Winter Blues” dinner. Guests interested in the Midsummer Dinner are encouraged to stop by to make reservations.
TW: Any plans for the future?
Joel Wall: We are expanding next door in the near future to open a new event center which will feature an in-house catering kitchen as well as a bar, reception area, great hall and outside seating. Construction is happening currently and the space is coming along beautifully. It’s going to be really special. The Branch Bar and Public Room (360) 669-5127