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LeClaire’s Crane & Pelican Cafe earns ‘most adorable’ small-town restaurant in Iowa

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 2:15 PM CDT
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LeCLAIRE, Iowa (KWQC) - The Crane and Pelican Cafe in LeClaire has earned the title ‘Most Adorable Small-town Restaurant’ in Iowa as part of a list by LoveFood.

The restaurant is inside the Dawley House, and old mansion which sits atop the hillside overlooking downtown LeClaire and the Mississippi River.

“The building is on the national historic registry. It was built in 1851. They raised nine kids here in the house,” Owner Mandy Harvey said, “Everything we did to the house was to restore it back to its original glory.”

Harvey purchased the house in 2009 and transformed it into a restaurant.

“I like to call it classy comfort food,” she said.

Harvey tries to create an experience for customers through the charm of the house and the locally-sourced home cooked meals.

“What’s so great about this is once people walk in my door and see how cool the building is, it makes a great first impression,” she said, “I like to call it classy comfort food.”

After a rough year for small businesses around the country and in LeClaire, the honor is helping bring some new customers into the restaurant and to the town.

“I had a table yesterday say ‘hey you popped up in my newsfeed so we decided to come check you out,” Harvey said.

She hopes the buzz will encourage people to check out the rest LeClaire has to offer.

“That is exactly what LeClaire is. It’s all about the whole experience,” she said, “We want you to come here and spend the whole day here.”

The most adorable small-town restaurant in Illinois is also in the TV6 area. Vinny Vanuchhi’s, a popular Italian restaurant in Galena, took the state’s title on the list.

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