Being a bartender for over a decade now, it has become not just a profession of mine but also a passion. I enjoy the art and act of mixology. I also enjoy experiencing what my peers are doing in the community and learning from them. They have inspired me to share what I believe to be the top ten places to have a drink in the Quad Cities.
- Cru Bottle Shop – 221 Brady St., Davenport, Iowa
Cru is a fantastic spot for a cocktail, glass of wine, or a craft beer. The bar employs the most knowledgeable mixologists in the area that can help you find your next, new favorite drink. They are home to a bottle shop with a lovely selection of wines and a few craft brews too. Cru also hosts some of the best events, such as their Leaky Cauldron Happy Potter themed evening; see what they’re got planned next here.
- The Half Nelson – 321 E. 2nd St., Davenport, Iowa
The Half Nelson is a newer establishment located in downtown Davenport. It has a antiquated charm to it with a contemporary twist. This applies to the décor, the menu, and the cocktails. They use a classic idea, such as a margarita, and add twist it with a trend by using Rose’ as a mixer in a beautiful tiki glass. This is a wonderful date night spot! Check out what’s going on there.
- RAW – 136 E. 3rd Street, Davenport, Iowa
RAW bar is a sleek and sophisticated place to catch a drink. They use all fresh ingredients, many prepared in house, and are constantly rotating new items in, offering up a delicious and creative cocktail menu. They have a few select craft beers and light fare, including some of the best Sashimi around. RAW has specials on different nights of the week, such as half off whiskey on Wednesdays. Check out what’s going on today.
- J Bar – 4215 Elmore Avenue, Davenport, Iowa
You wouldn’t expect it, but J Bar is doing some of the most experimental things with cocktails. They always have new ingredients the bar managers are playing around with, creating different tinctures, and approaching mixology creatively. If you are a tequila fan, this is a place to research and learn all about it, as it’s a preferred spirit of the staff there. They are housed in a wonderful restaurant with a great patio.
- Barley & Rye Bistro – 1320 5thAve., Moline, Illinois
Inside this farm-to-table restaurant (that is excellent), is a bar with a massive inventory of spirits and a knowledgeable bar staff to guide you through their shelves. Barley & Rye has wine and craft beer selections with regular drink features and specials, including the popular Old Fashioned flights. Find what’s happening today here.
- Bass Street Chop House – 1601 River Drive Suite 100, Moline, Illinois
Many people think of Bass Street Chop House as a fine dining establishment, which it is. It is also home to a great bar with a different menu than the restaurant offers. Behind the bar is always a thoughtful tender who can guide you through their lovely selection of wine and spirits as well as mix you a great cocktail. It can be on the pricey side, but it is always worth it. They do have different specials and features of the week you can learn about here.
- PUB 1848 – 1601 River Drive Suite 106, Moline, Illinois
PUB 1848 is a fun bar to visit. From the lively atmosphere to the sassy bartenders, you will always have a great time there. The PUB is a good spot for craft beers and beverages. They are always featuring new cocktails, highlighting crafty spirits, and hosting cocktail glasses to teach people how to make popular drinks. Keep track with what they have coming up here.
- The Phoenix Restaurant & Martini Bar – 111 W. 2nd Street, Davenport, Iowa
The Phoenix has a beautiful bar inside its also beautiful restaurant. They serve wonderful food and delicious specialty martinis alongside a nice wine selection and craft beers on draft. Occasionally they have a piano player come in and entertain guests. It all works together to provide a nice place to relax. Find out when the music will be playing and what’s on special at The Phoenix here.
- Mac’s Tavern – 136 W. 3rd Street, Davenport, Iowa
Mac’s Tavern is a great establishment that’s been in Downtown Davenport since the 1930s. They’re known for their St. Patrick’s Parade Day party (located right on the parade route), their loyalty to the Chicago Cubs, and as a St. Ambrose University hang out. It’s also a great place to get a classic martini. The bar staff has all been there for years and knows how to handle it all. See what’s headed their way here.
- Icons Martini – 124 18th Street, Rock Island, IL
Icons Martini is just that, an icon of drinking establishments in downtown Rock Island. Anyone who’s ever spent any time in the area has a story of their own about the bar. I personally always praise it for how talented the mixologists are behind the bar. The martini list is long and detailed, and they can shake them out quickly–all the while looking cool about it.
What place mixes up your favorite cocktail? Share in the comments.