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Friday, January 27, 2023

Iconic Cronks Restaurant Property Under New Ownership

Iconic Cronks Restaurant Property Under New Ownership

A recent ownership change looks like it will re-open the doors of an Iowa icon right here in Denison. 

Longtime owner Eric Skoog says Cronks started in 1929 as a little cafe’ before growing over the years into the restaurant and lounge that he took over in 1979 after partnering with his dad for several years.

“If you were going to talk to somebody in Des Moines you had to hit Cronks. We got to know the Secret Service. They would come to set up for a candidate to do one of his deals. We had them all over the years. We made some great friends over the years. We had good help. That was the key to it,” said Skoog. 

He says the COVID pandemic shut the place down after 90 years of service. 

“Terri and I had been talking about retiring. My father had passed away right about that time. People I had talked to in the restaurant business all kind of said the same thing. You’ll have to remodel everything else. So we made the decision to put it on the market,” said Skoog. 

They eventually sold the property to Ramon Patino who says he grew to love Denison after first arriving here in 1994. 

“I want to stay here. I want to invest my money here. I know the city and people locally support the community so I’m very happy to be part of the family here in Denison and I love this place now. I plan to stay here for a long time,” said Patino. 

Patino says they’re not sure exactly what the new place will be yet. 

“I was thinking about changing everything pretty much but got a lot of comments on Facebook that most people would like to keep it the way it is. Maybe try to hire some of the people that were working before. Try to keep some of the stuff they used to have so the people that used to come keep coming. I’m trying to do something good for the business and the community,” said Patino. 

Skoog says he offered up a few ideas for that process. 

“We were always busy out in front in the coffee shop. It was always steady and it was there all day long from six in the morning until usually 9:00. I said to find out what they’re saying they miss the most about Cronks. They’re all saying the same thing. Sunday morning brunch. So I hope he does that a little bit.,” said Skoog.

Patino also owns Tienda El Mexicano on 7th Street and says he hopes to earn the community’s faithful support for another local business soon. 

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