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“Something old is new again!”

The Vault Cafe On The Square
Ranked #4 of 97 Restaurants in Marion
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $10
Cuisines: American, Cafe, Soups
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch
Reviewed January 8, 2014

I'd heard mixed reviews about The Vault Cafe, so when we were considering where we might have lunch we decided to give it a try.


First off, the food, which was delightful. My husband, the chef, had the eggs benidict which he found excellent. I had the omlete with all the vegetables offered, and was surprised at the condition of the eggs. Too often I've had an omlete in a breakfast restaurant and the egg has been woefully overcooked, rubbery or dry. My only disappointment was that it was too much for me to consume, so I shared with my husband who was also impressed.

We dined just before the lunch rush which was pouring in as we were leaving after quizzing the restaurant owner about the building, which he does not own, but by the looks of the numbers coming in, I'd say the locals are happy with the establishment.

The building is an ongoing restoration project, begun by a company in Chicago. I found that a little odd, since Chicago, not actually the center of the universe OR Illinois, is about 6 hours away if traffic is with you. We learned talking to the owner of the restaurant, that the company crew had spent about 2 1/5 years living in Marion while they accomplished the first floor restoration. If you're an architecture buff, it is interesting to hear about the dreadful destruction of the original lobby, much of it's marble and copper harvested by a previous owner, and the incredible journey to bring it back as far as it's come.

As you enter the foyer, to the right through double glass doors, is the elevator and stairway, to the right, an antique shoe shine station, an homage to the barber shop that had for a time been housed in that part of the lobby. Straight ahead, through a second set of double doors is the cafe.

The decor is sparse but not uncomfortable. We did peek into the vault, which has two tables with theoretical accomodations for 8. As a claustrophobic, this wouldn't be my first choice, nor, my second, but it has potential, for other diners.

The main dining room is the classic bank lobby, a large open room with sturdy pillars. The vault sits open at the back of the room. The windows span floor to ceiling in keeping with the age and style of the building, allowing natural lighting and a view of the square and the art gallery across the street.

The building has 5 floors, and the long term plan is to finish the second and third as offices and the top two as apartments, but this is a ways off. The building sat vacant for many years and the damaged roof allowed massive water damage down to the second floor. The elevator is the classic cage style and is surrounded by stairs to the top floor. We went to the mezzenine on which they have a dining/meeting room that overlooks the main dining room, the second floor is not open to the public.

Just as a afterthought, a few reviews down you will find an example of excellent writing, and a clear opinion, but, I think in one point, inaccurate logic. A cafe, in the traditional American sense is defined as a small restaurant selling light meals and drinks; The Vault Cafe is precisely that. Because you expect your past experience to dictate your future experiences, it seems wrong to penalize the future host because they don't know what you expect when you walk in their door.

We enjoyed our meal and conversation and expect to return soon. Next time I want one of the Belgium waffles that I saw on another table. Oh my!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Celloista
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LundgrenFamily, Owner at The Vault Cafe On The Square, responded to this reviewResponded January 16, 2014

We greatly appreciate your beautifully written review. We are so glad you enjoyed your visit to the Vault and plan to come back! We look forward to serving you again. Thanks again so much!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 - 103 of 114 reviews

Reviewed January 7, 2014

I'd heard mixed reviews about The Vault Cafe, so when we were considering where we might have lunch we decided to give it a try.


First off, the food, which was delightful. My husband, the chef, had the eggs benidict which he found excellent. I had the omlete with all the vegetables offered, and was surprised at the condition of the eggs. Too often I've had an omlete in a breakfast restaurant and the egg has been woefully overcooked, rubbery or dry. My only disappointment was that it was too much for me to consume, so I shared with my husband who was also impressed.

We dined just before the lunch rush which was pouring in as we were leaving after quizzing the restaurant owner about the building, which he does not own, but by the looks of the numbers coming in, I'd say the locals are happy with the establishment.

The building is an ongoing restoration project, begun by a company in Chicago. I found that a little odd, since Chicago, not actually the center of the universe OR Illinois, is about 6 hours away if traffic is with you. We learned talking to the owner of the restaurant, that the company crew had spent about 2 1/5 years living in Marion while they accomplished the first floor restoration. If you're an architecture buff, it is interesting to hear about the dreadful destruction of the original lobby, much of it's marble and copper harvested by a previous owner, and the incredible journey to bring it back as far as it's come.

As you enter the foyer, to the right through double glass doors, is the elevator and stairway, to the right, an antique shoe shine station, an homage to the barber shop that had for a time been housed in that part of the lobby. Straight ahead, through a second set of double doors is the cafe.

The decor is sparse but not uncomfortable. We did peek into the vault, which has two tables with theoretical accomodations for 8. As a claustrophobic, this wouldn't be my first choice, nor, my second, but it has potential, for other diners.

The main dining room is the classic bank lobby, a large open room with sturdy pillars. The vault sits open at the back of the room. The windows span floor to ceiling in keeping with the age and style of the building, allowing natural lighting and a view of the square and the art gallery across the street.

The building has 5 floors, and the long term plan is to finish the second and third as offices and the top two as apartments, but this is a ways off. The building sat vacant for many years and the damaged roof allowed massive water damage down to the second floor. The elevator is the classic cage style and is surrounded by stairs to the top floor. We went to the mezzenine on which they have a dining/meeting room that overlooks the main dining room, the second floor is not open to the public.

Just as a afterthought, a few reviews down you will find an example of excellent writing, and a clear opinion, but, I think in one point, inaccurate logic. A cafe, in the traditional American sense is defined as a small restaurant selling light meals and drinks; The Vault Cafe is precisely that. Because you expect your past experience to dictate your future experiences, it seems wrong to penalize the future host because they don't know what you expect when you walk in their door.

We enjoyed our meal and conversation and expect to return soon. Next time I want one of the Belgium waffles that I saw on another table. Oh my!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Celloista
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

Visiting family, and looking for a place for breakfast, and in-laws recommended The Vault. Greeted at the door, and staff very friendly. The place in my opinion is being under-utilized for limiting themselves to breakfast and lunch. The restaurant has the atmosphere for dinner with high ceiling, architectural design, and table in the “vault”. None the less, there for breakfast. Kids ordered pancakes, and I had western omelets. The food was fantastic, probably one of better omelets had in a while, and the home fries were very good. The service was friendly and prompt. At the end, the manager came by to offer kids a chocolate coin, but ask parent first if ok. Nice touch. I would definitely go back, and would try lunch.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank MacungieJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LundgrenFamily, Owner at The Vault Cafe On The Square, responded to this reviewResponded January 16, 2014

We are so glad that you enjoyed your breakfast at the Vault! :) We too love the historic beauty of the building. We have two children at home, and my husband chose to open a breakfast/lunch café so that he can be home with his family in the evenings! Thanks again so much for your kind review; we truly appreciate it and hope to serve you again soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2013

This is a new restaurant on the Marion square and since I live close to it I went to check it out with my 2 year old child. The first time I went I walked in around 1:45PM and they said they were closed. I didn't realize at the time that they close at 2PM. They had no interest in serving me even though their doors were wide open, lights on, etc. Ok no problem, I'd try another time.

A few weeks later we tried again, this time in the morning. They had put out advertisements all over town that kids eat free with an adult entree. I went in and sat down and told the waitress that we were there for the first time to check them out and wanted their special where the kid get something free if I ordered an entree. I was going to order breakfast which would have been a near eight dollar omelet and juice at a minimum. The waitress left and talked to a manager who glanced at us from across the room, and then she came back and said "you can't do that'. I had to prod her for the reason and the manager had told the waitress that I had to bring in the advertisement in with me. Those advertisements were just cheap copies all over town with no cash value. We got up and left and they didn't seem to care at all. They lost what would possibly have been a good local customer and I'll be recommending to the hundreds of folks I work with to avoid the place. In a small town like this and being a new restaurant you'd think they would go the extra mile to standout with great service, but they fall very short.

1  Thank Vincent F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LundgrenFamily, Owner at The Vault Cafe On The Square, responded to this reviewResponded January 19, 2014

I am genuinely sorry that happened to you.......coming in 15 mins before close. You should have been served and taken care of. I am very sorry you were treated that way as that is NOT the customer service that my husband Rob (the owner) expects to be given to his guests.

As far as the coupons, those were handed out at our church's Trunk or Treat and as with other restaurants, stores, etc., you do need to present the coupon at time of purchase. I must say, I do wish it had been handled with more grace towards you. We can only hope you will give us another chance. Please check out our Facebook page; we have many happy guests and can only hope that you too will one day be one of our happy guests as well! We need the community's support to make it! And again, so sorry :(

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Reviewed November 6, 2013 via mobile

We have enjoyed our visits to this unique eatery. It is locally owned and operated. It is located in a historic downtown building and was remodeled to compliment the original structure yet feels modern and urban. The owner/manager interacts with customers and seems to enjoy his job. Give this place a try if you find yourself in downtown Marion!

1  Thank Jeramie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LundgrenFamily, Owner at The Vault Cafe On The Square, responded to this reviewResponded January 16, 2014

Thank you for your kind review! We are glad you have enjoyed your trips to the Vault! We hope to serve you again soon! You are correct; Rob does love serving his guests! :)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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