An iconic western Iowa restaurant is closing for good. Cronk’s Cafe in Denison opened in 1929. Eric and Terri Skoog have owned the restaurant since 1984. Presidential candidates from both political parties have campaigned in the cafe.
“I think we’ve done just about everything you possibly could,” Eric Skoog says. “We’ve had weddings and funerals and birthday parties for young and old.”
Skoog says he and his wife wrestled with the decision to close.
“It’s been in the back of our minds,” Skoog says. “We were trying to figure out what the exit strategy was going to be and that was even a year or two ago.”
The restaurant has had a string of owners over the past eight decades. Skoog, who bought the restaurant from his father, says restaurant owners will have a tough patch until the pandemic subsides. Still, he is hoping to find a new buyer.
“I really hope the Cronk’s name stays,” Skoog says. “I mean, I wasn’t a Cronk. We inherited that.”
The cafe sits along Highway 30, which used to be called The Lincoln Highway. Skoog says back in the day when Cronk’s was open at all hours the Sons of the Pioneers and other bands would stop to eat in the middle of the night as they traveled from show to show.
(By Tanner Bickford, KDSN, Denison)