It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Lonnie Ray’s Cafe seems to be no more. Between cryptic (and unanswered) posts to their Facebook page, an independent source, the fact that their phone is disconnected and confirmation by staff at the C & S Grocery store two doors down, it seems appropriate to “call it” in this case. My one remaining hope is that Mike and Brandon have shuttered the storefront and will still be doing catering. Or that we can lure them to Columbia, which accounted for approximately 95% of their business.
I first visited Lonnie Ray’s in August of 2008 and they never let me down on subsequent visits, most recently in November. Mike’s brisket was – for me – the best of an outstanding bunch and the sides and oddball specials they dreamt up were always fun. He and Brandon are good guys and passionate about what they do – perfectionists. Their ten year run was impressive; hopefully it’s not over. Like really, really over. Relive the experience through my Columbia Home Magazine piece from last year or this Missourian feature from 2013. Here’s a nice YouTube video to watch. And cry. It’s okay to cry.
Additional info as I find it. In the meantime, pour one out for Lonnie Ray’s and grab some good bbq at…oh never mind.