Mike’s Western Cafe Closes After Nearly Four Decades

"I met so many nice people. I met fishing buddies, golfing buddies, and bowling buddies. It's really been a fun experience," said Mike Pracher, the owner of Mike's Western Cafe.

DULUTH, Minn. – A hometown restaurant in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood is closing its doors after nearly 40 years in business.

Mike’s Western Cafe has lasted through multiple generations of many in the Lincoln Park Community.

Those who have come to love the local restaurant will now have to say farewell.

Mike Pracher, the owner of Mike’s Western Cafe, has spent nearly four decades of his life running the local restaurant.

“I was 23-years-old when I bought this place. Its been 38 years. Do the math and you will know how old I am,” said Pracher.

After a good run, he is making the tough decision to close up shop.

“I met so many nice people. I met fishing buddies, golfing buddies, and bowling buddies. It’s really been a fun experience,” said Pracher.

Like many businesses in the northland, mike’s western cafe, is being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Back in March, bars and restaurants were ordered to shut down.

Pracher expressed, “I thought it was going to be a week, two, or three. It’s already been six months and I just can’t wait it out.”

Even when those establishments were allowed to reopen at 50% capacity, it just wasn’t enough to keep the business going.

“I have 12 booths. It’s pretty hard to live off six booths,” said Pracher.

Prachar’s children grew up working in the restaurant.

His daughter says it was difficult seeing her father having to give everything up.

“He’s a hard worker, and for him to all of a sudden not be working. I know it was an adjustment for him. This was not an easy decision to make by any means,” said Andrea King, Mike’s daughter and manager for the cafe.

Even Mike’s grandchildren were getting used to being a part of the family business.

“It’s been a huge part of our life. My son and nephews started working doing dishes on Saturdays,” said King.

While letting go may be difficult after making lasting memories, Mike says there is one thing he will truly miss.

“I feel bad leaving the community. I’ve gotten to know a lot of people,” said Pracher. “I’m going to miss seeing the smiles on faces.”

Mike says he is planning on getting back to work.

He also says another restaurant in Carlton County might be in his future.

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