Sunday, July 15, 2012
Big Dave & Holly's and Le Claire Iowa
Location: 1204 N Cody Rd in Le Claire, just outside Bettendorf and the Quad Cities in Eastern Iowa.
Directions: Cody Road is Highway 67, the Great River Road, the main street through Le Claire reached from the last exit on I-80 before the bridge over the river.
Online at: website is HERE.
Also on the menu: The sign reads Tenderloins, Ice Cream & More, and the "more" seems to be burgers and daily specials like tacos or jambalaya.
Ambiance: The interior is small and cramped with a couple counters and tables for seating. There are picnic tables outside and views of the train tracks and the river.
Some notes about visiting Le Claire:
Big Dave & Holly's was visited on the American Pickers episode White Castle on the Farm. Its the location of a dramatic scene involving intense phone conversations and paper shuffling. After eating at Big Dave's on the north side of Le Claire, I figured it was worth walking in the footsteps of The History Channel and checking out the town.
NY Times article, the guy from the show bought a downtown building after negotiating the asking price down by $150,000. It appears the town of Le Claire was developing into a boutique shopping destination before the show started pulling in over 5 million viewers in weekly installments. The local media shares credit for the turnaround to the opening of an Iowa Welcome Center, a couple of new restaurants, and some active local residents.
I've been to some other towns in Iowa that promote themselves as antique "destinations" that just aren't interesting to visit. Le Claire's Main St. area was near fully occupied and busy with visitors while I was there. The growth of the tourists, small businesses, shops, and the rest of the town mark a sharp contrast to other river towns in Iowa.