Mount Vernon Prepares to Say Goodbye to Lincoln Cafe

By Forrest Saunders, Reporter

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By Forrest Saunders

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa - Goodbye to good eats. Mount Vernon is preparing to say so long to the Lincoln Cafe, which has served the town for nearly 13 years.

The popular restaurant’s last day is December 21st. The announcement came as a shock to many in and around town.

“I was pretty surprised,” said Spencer Alexander. “Didn’t really know what to say, I mean it seems pretty successful.”

“I don’t get it. I don’t understand,” said Samantha Dobrin.

Chef and owner Matt Steigerwald said he isn’t leaving for financial reasons, but because he’s turning 50 soon and ready for a new challenge.

“I’d like to think about the last third act of my career. I wanted to open up my options. When you’re here everyday you don’t see options very much,” said Steigerwald.

What those options are, Steigerwald still has to figure out. Meanwhile his phone has been ringing off the hook as people try to book a reservation before the cafe goes dark.

Customers who’ve come to love the spot and its unique international dishes said the change will be hard to swallow.

“Where else in middle America, in rural Iowa, can you get goat cheese empanada?” asked Ronnie Craig.

"There are not that many restaurants here to begin with, and this is an excellent one. It brings a lot of people from outside town to see how cool Mount Vernon is," said Kaitlin Mills.

Steigerwald said he rents the Lincoln Cafe’s current location and hopes someone decides to take over the site and put in a new business. He said the Lincoln Cafe's sister restaurant, the Lincoln Winebar in Mt. Vernon, will stay open.

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