MOUNT VERNON — Beginning Monday, Sept. 12, renovations will start at The Alcove Restaurant in downtown Mount Vernon. The renovations will restore the restaurant to its former glory as the “best restaurant in town” as well as improve the functionality of the building. The Alcove has been in business for over 100 years and at one time included a “soda fountain” where the Library Bar is located.
In the early 2000s, The Alcove essentially went out of business, and a group of investors, led by Tom Metcalf, who had earlier owned the restaurant, re-opened the doors in 2004. Since then, the restaurant has struggled with the decline of the downtown and changing dining patterns. With the new Grand Hotel, the Mount Vernon Nazarene University classrooms, the COTC satellite campus and the KCH office center all located downtown, owner Karen Buchwald Wright believes there will be renewed interest in fine dining in Mount Vernon. Buchwald Wright was an investor in 2004, who along with Mark Ramser and his sister, Susan, have been subsidizing the restaurant for the last 12 years in order to keep the doors open.
“I’m very grateful to Mark for also unofficially managing the restaurant all these years” Buchwald Wright said, “And I sincerely hope this renovation will be a significant part of a new era for downtown Mount Vernon.”
Kim Lenkei will continue to manage the business operations of the restaurant as she has done for many years and will be joined by Katie Wright who will be consulting on the renovations, coordinating employee training and planning a new menu for the restaurant.
“We are very lucky to have Kim involved with the restaurant, and her many years of service will benefit The Alcove in the years to come. Katie will be an excellent addition, and her formal training will benefit the restaurant and will be an important part of this renovation and transformation,” added Buchwald Wright.
During the renovations, The Alcove will be closed but will be maintaining current weekly luncheon schedules for Kiwanis, Rotary and Exchange, as well as maintaining existing catering commitments, utilizing alternative locations.
The restaurant is scheduled to re-open for the Christmas season.