The long run of Lone Star Steakhouse in Cedar Rapids appears to have come to an end and there may be a surprising reason to blame.

Jacob Cowger tells me his wife saw the sign in the Lone Star window telling of its closing. Apparently, the sign says the location is closed permanently and also encourages customers to visit Lone Star in Waterloo. It also thanked Cedar Rapids and there's a lot to thank.

Lone Star came to Cedar Rapids in 1993, after buying the former Coogan's location at 4545 1st Ave SE. The Gazette ran the announcement on New Year's Day of that year. A nearly 24-year run appears to have ended and the building may be at least partially to blame.

I was able to uncover an Americans with Disabilities Act settlement from just 10 days ago, pertaining to the Cedar Rapids Lone Star location. According to the settlement, "DJ# 202-27-46 alleges that certain features of the restaurant that were in existence on the effective date of Title III are not readily accessible to individuals with disabilities and violate Title III and its implementing regulation, including the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (“Standards”), 28 C.F.R. Part 36 App. A. The United States’ investigation of the complaint has confirmed these allegations."

The settlement also states, "Lone Star agrees to correct violations of the ADA Standards indicated below and to remove barriers to the existing spaces where doing so is readily achievable. Lone Star agrees to take the steps outlined in this Settlement Agreement to ensure that individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs, have an opportunity equal to that of non-disabled individuals to enjoy Lone Star’s accommodations. In light of this Agreement, the parties have determined that DJ# 202-27-46 can be resolved without litigation and have prepared and agreed to the terms of this Settlement Agreement."

The settlement required a lot of work to be done, to become compliant, in the next 12 months. What that means is that expenses, perhaps large ones, were ahead for the Cedar Rapids Lone Star Steakhouse. You can see full list of required updates here.

The news of Lone Star's closing comes just two weeks after the announcement of a new barbecue restaurant coming to Cedar Rapids. They come and they go, but after almost 24 years, this one hurts a little more.

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