Mulkey’s Restaurant, Rock Island, IL

Jean Oshima
3 min readJul 24, 2020

If you’re old like me and have a restaurant you grew up with you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when I tell you about Mulkey’s.

I almost forgot to mention their rolls! Oh my GOSH get the rolls! And see those carrots almost not in the photo? Get those too!

To start, the photos you see here are exactly the way Mulkey’s has looked for the 50+ years I have visited. A few years ago my aunt and I had lunch at Mulkey’s, the first time I’d been there in over 40 years. It was exactly, and I mean EXACTLY the way I remember it. The booths, atmosphere, and menu, all the same. And the fried chicken was just as good. The chicken is so fresh (I’m guessing it comes from a nearby farm) and their recipe is the best you can imagine. As a reviewer says on Trip Advisor, it’s “the best homemade food in the Quad Cities”. (The Quad Cities, if you don’t know, where I was born, is made up of 4 cities — two on one side of the Mississippi in Illinois, and two on the other side, in Iowa — Rock Island, Moline, Bettendorf, and Davenport. You can be in one of the cities on the Illinois side and cross a bridge and 2 minutes later be in Iowa. These cities are literally right on the Mississippi River. (I developed a fear of bridges living there that I have since overcome by riding my bike across the Coronado Bay bridge in San Diego.)

Same decor. Same booths.

There are a handfull of great restaurants in the Quad-City area, including one of the world’s best ice cream shops, Whitey’s. And they’ve all been around for a very long time. Another one is Harris Pizza. For a restaurant to be good in this area it has to be really good because there are still so many great homecooks. In my family alone, I have many aunts and uncles and cousins who can cook. And when I say they can cook, I mean it.

Mulkey’s is open for business now during the pandemic but only for pick-up. If I were in the Q-Cities I’d be ordering their fried chicken for dinner right now. And their mashed potatoes and gravy and their delicious coleslaw just the way I like it, fresh, flavorful, and creamy!

Same color building. Same sign.

Take a look at their website and you’ll see how basic they are. Also, it’s obvious they have done well enough all these years that they don’t even need a website. I was actually surprised they have one!

PS What the heck is weebly?? Gah I love the Quad-Cities!!

Originally published at on July 24, 2020.



Jean Oshima

See my blog, 5 Heart Rating at I am a Wellness & Wine and Special Events Producer