The Cotton Cafe closes; owner says it's not permanent - Home

The Cotton Cafe closes; owner says it's not permanent

David Clemons | The Tribune | Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2020 1:32 pm

MONROE, Ga. — The Cotton Café, a downtown restaurant, was closed for lunch Thursday. But the owner said it will return.

The restaurant at 136 N. Broad St. was dark during lunch hours Thursday with a sign on the front door saying it was closed for “maintenance.” However, an employee told The Walton Tribune she and her co-workers were given their final pay Thursday morning.

Owner Debbie Goins said that’s not true.

“My husband has been very sick for the past eight weeks,” she said.

Alexis Burton opened the restaurant in 2014, a decade after she and her husband moved to Monroe. It featured coffee, sandwiches and catering.

“My vision was to have a place for people to come and just hang out and just be,” Burton told The Tribune at the time. “I want to be connected with the community and for people to walk through the door and me be able to say, ‘Hey Bob, are you getting your regular?’”

The restaurant is located in an historic building that dates to the early 1920, built by J.L. McGarity as the first Monroe location of the E.L. Almand Funeral Home.

The funeral home remained there until moving up the street to the site that’s currently home to Monroe City Hall in 1953.

Goins purchased the restaurant last spring, and it recently added a weekend breakfast buffet.

The Cotton Café going dark is a rare negative for restaurants in Monroe recently, especially downtown. The downtown district has seen the addition of South on Broad — which includes chef and operator Adam Bailey, former chef at The Cotton Café — along with LR Burger and Southern Brewing Co.

Goins was insistent the restaurant will reopen and said employees who claim they were told to find other work were lying. She said they will be paid as normal on Friday.

Her message to patrons: “I want them to know that everything is fine and my husband will be on the mend. He has been very sick. This is a personal issue.”