The Lincoln Inn is relocating after 40 years in downtown DeKalb
August 18, 2020
For Immediate Release:
With mixed emotions, the owners of The Lincoln Inn are announcing plans to permanently re-locate the restaurant from its current location at 240 E. Lincoln Highway to Faranda’s Banquet Center, 302 Grove Street, one block south in Downtown DeKalb. The Lincoln Inn has occupied the location at 240 E. Lincoln Highway since John and Polly Arhos opened the restaurant on May 21, 1979. The business has been an anchor in the heart of downtown through the years as Downtown DeKalb’s full-service family restaurant serving breakfast and lunch, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and coffee. It has always been a very welcoming comfortable place where many regulars know each other by name. Bill and Joy McMahon purchased the restaurant in 1994 and have been operating it ever since.
The move is a direct result of the current and ongoing pandemic. New developments in the downtown have helped increase foot traffic and dining room business by over 20% in the last year. With people living in the new downtown apartments and with an increase of people coming down to shop, breakfast and lunch business has increased significantly. Improvements being completed at the Egyptian Theater will lead to even more visitors in the downtown and a brighter future for all downtown businesses. Unfortunately, Covid-19 is having a devastating impact on how often people are eating in restaurants, and of all segments, family restaurants are being impacted the hardest. “While people have come to enjoy comfortable closeness The Lincoln Inn’s dining room offers and the restaurant’s 12 seat counter, that same environment does not lend itself well to social distancing” Bill McMahon reports. Even though McMahon feels that his staff could implement the safety protocols needed to ensure safe dining experiences for guests at the Lincoln Inn, McMahon explains “While we can do a good job in the 4000 square feet at 240 E. Lincoln highway, we can do a great job in the 15,000 square feet that Faranda’s Banquet Center offers. In addition to more dining space, Faranda’s location allows for outdoor dining on the patio and curbside pickup and plenty of parking. McMahon also feels that he can keep his staff safer in the larger kitchen that Faranda’s offers. “The kitchen at Lincoln Inn is set up in a traditional line fashion where cooks work shoulder to shoulder to prepare guests meals. Faranda’s kitchen on the other hand provides twice the space and the ability to have distinct work-stations.”
Lincoln Inn transitioned its operations to 302 Grove Street as a temporary move in March when inside dining was mandated to close in Illinois. Originally a limited menu for drive-through dinner service was provided for two hours each day to keep the staff employed and to stay connected with the restaurant’s regular customers. When outdoor dining was permitted, a patio was designed with covered tables in the front of the banquet center and the menu was expanded to include more of the favorites from the Lincoln Inn’s dining room menu. When inside dining was permitted at the end of June, rather than moving back into 240 E. Lincoln highway and abandoning the Patio Dining and Curbside Pickup that had been established, McMahon opted to open “The Lincoln Inn @ Faranda’s” “It just seemed to make sense at the time. Many people were enjoying dining on the patio and we have much more space to spread out in this facility.” While the restaurant is moving back to its breakfast/lunch format, the Friday night dinners have been a huge success and they will continue to be a part of the Restaurant’s new offerings. Plans are being finalized to convert some of the smaller interior meeting space to permanently house The Lincoln Inn at Faranda’s. McMahon acknowledges that much sadness comes with the decision to not reopen the dining room at 240 E. Lincoln Highway.
“Downtown DeKalb is certainly experiencing some new vibrance and we have experienced that first-hand in the past year. We have spent 27 great years on Lincoln Highway and change is always difficult”. But McMahon continues with the optimism of the opportunity that is presented in the current situation. “Our family believes that we can continue to provide the DeKalb community enjoyable dining experiences and we can even do it better in our new location. Furthermore, we can continue to provide the premier experience that Farandas has been providing to its customers for the past 8 years.” In addition to this being an opportunity for the McMahon Family, this is an opportunity for someone new in our community who has always dreamed of owning a restaurant or a business in a vibrant downtown. When this all finishes up, DeKalb will find itself with one additional business in its downtown district – two owned by the McMahons and new fresh business located in the heart of downtown at 240 E. Lincoln highway.
Bill & Joy McMahon
Click on the link to read the article published in the Daily Chronicle-Lincoln Inn On the Move
To view the property listing, please visit click on the Flyer-240 E Lincoln DeKalb