In April last year, on a rainy morning, firefighters were dispatched to the Lincoln Barbeque on East Lincoln Avenue in Mount Vernon, when a fire broke out in the ceiling and quickly spread to the rest of the structure. It took crews several hours to knock down the flames as they dealt with windy conditions and tight confines inside the building.
For owner Burt Dones, the outlook was bleak.
“I didn’t know if I would be able to reopen,” he said. “I wanted to, but I just didn’t know.”
This week, with an assist from the city they call home, Dones was able to reopen the doors to Lincoln Barbecue, following several hurdles and struggles along the way.
The revitalization of Lincoln Barbeque was one of the Mount Vernon Quality of Life Task Force’s initial efforts. The task force was established last year to “partner with businesses and building owners to ensure the city’s laws and codes are delivering their intended benefits.”
“Codes and ordinances are the foundation of a city’s quality of life,” Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas said. “The task force is a set of eyes with a broad vision across departments to make sure laws are enforced so services are delivered efficiently, and the health and safety of residents are protected.”
Buildings Commissioner Dan Jones said the task force plays three roles. To educate businesses and building owners about the various laws and ordinances that apply to inform them about the consequences of noncompliance; and to, try and find solutions that are mutually beneficial.
“Most businesses are receptive to working with the Quality of Life Task Force because cooperation is the fastest, cheapest and best path to compliance,” Jones said, adding that in several cases strong partnerships have emerged to expedite solutions. The laws and codes are there to protect people. Our obligation is to ensure compliance and when we find noncompliance we take the necessary steps to correct problems.”
According to Thomas, “the story of Lincoln Barbeque is part of a broader effort to promote and preserve the things that make Mount Vernon an attractive place to live and work.”
“Every business is important to Mount Vernon, so we try to do everything we can to keep the businesses here open and thriving,” he said. “We want to be a partner to the people willing to invest in our city. Lincoln Barbeque, with its Portuguese flair, adds to Mount Vernon’s vitality and diversity. We are proud to have them and even prouder to have been able to keep them here.”
Click here to follow Daily Voice Armonk and receive free news updates.