Greencastle mourns passing of Marvin's restaurant owner

Marvin Long was 88 years old.
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Have you ever had a GCB or had Marvin's delivered to you? The man behind the iconic Greencastle restaurant, its garlic cheese burger and global reach passed away Sunday. Marvin Long's commitment to the central Indiana extended far beyond his restaurant.

If you've been to Putnam County, you've probably been to Marvin's, a popular restaurant.

"There was a man who lived in Greencastle, Indiana who created a world a wonderful legacy that people will remember for generations to come," said Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray.

Marvin Long's most famous kitchen creation was the GCB.

"People who aren't from Greencastle or DePauw would think about is a garlic cheeseburger, and say, why would I want that? It doesn't sound good," said Kevin Sullivan, owner.

"You can try to make it at home but it just doesn't happen," said Katina Wetter, restaurant customer.

Unable to duplicate the taste, Marvin always promised to deliver. Fans took it a step further. They took pictures of themselves holding up "Marvin's delivers" signs wherever they went. Those pictures decorate the walls of the restaurant. The Sahara Desert, Mt. Vesuvius, Moscow - you name it!

Sometimes the stunt got the picture-takers in trouble.

"Red Square. They got detained by the KGB. Marvin got a call in the middle of the night wanting to know what the deal was with this. They thought it was a missile or bomb that was the behind the sign," said Sullivan.

But it wasn't the deliveries or the GCBs and fries that made Marvin Long unique. It was his way with people - a way that many believe made this community better.

"A place where people have been able to come to meet. It didn't matter if they were DePauw faculty or students or someone who worked for the city or even someone just passing through. Why not go to Marvin's?" said Mayor Murray.

The mayor says over the years, business deals have been negotiated here not only because of what's cooking in the kitchen but because of the atmosphere. It's a place where university scholars and hometown residents have dined side by side since 1972.

"It's a great way to live your life. You talk to everyone. There are no strangers and a lot of times you build friendships because of that," said Sullivan.

The "Marvin's delivers" campaign continues. Fans of the restaurant email or mail in photos all the time. One fan sent in a picture of a GCB entitled, "Marvin's delivers to Heaven."

Marvin Long was 88 years old. After the funeral and burial Friday, friends of Marvin will gather at the restaurant to share stories of his life.