Lincoln Restaurant Will Remove Nearly $10,000 in Pennies From Its Floor

The new floor will contain only about $60 in pennies.

Photo courtesy iStock

It took three months, nearly one million pennies, and many bank visits to cover the floor of Lincoln Restaurant completely in coins. But as it turns out, pennies don’t exactly make great flooring material, and the whole thing is starting to fall apart.

Now, the 16th president-themed restaurant will be tearing up the pennies—all 996,738, to be exact—and replacing them with a new wood flooring. Owner Alan Popovsky says the coins will be placed in a solvent that’s supposed to remove the epoxy, so he can keep the cash.

“We’re going to try to reclaim them all and pay a couple bills with them,” he says. Realistically though, the company doing the restoration has estimated they’ll only be able to reclaim 30 to 40 percent of the pennies. Still, that’s $3,000 to $4,000. “I’m hoping it will be more,” Popovsky says. 

Pennies aren’t totally disappearing from the new design: About 6,000 of them ($60) will be embedded in the black-painted wood flooring, six inches apart. All of the new pennies will be minted 2016—”the bank is promising that to us,” Popovsky says.

Lincoln will close from September 5 through 8 for renovations, which will include new furniture and lighting. One thing that will remain: the oversized white tufted chair meant to mimic the Lincoln Memorial.

CORRECTION: Due to a typo, this story initially added an extra digit to the number of pennies on the floor of Lincoln. There are 996,738.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.