Sylvia Luppen believes in her cooking, so much so that she wanted to own her own business, and the building it was in.
So when Dickey’s Barbecue Pit closed on Avenue of the Cities, Moline, she pounced on the opportunity. She was driving by and noticed someone raising the blinds, she said.
It turns out the building’s owner was in, and they struck up a conversation.
Soon, Luppen, owner of Sylvia’s Cafe in Milan, had opted to buy the building.
Now Sylvia’s Cafe will become Sylvia’s Restaurant at 3419 Avenue of the Cities. “We are relocating,” she said.
The planned opening is sometime in December, with Sylvia’s Cafe 641 10th Ave., Milan, closing Nov. 25. “We are hoping to be bigger and better at our new place,” Luppen said.
For her, the key difference is spending money to improve a place she owns. “When I dump money into it, it will still be mine, instead of leasing,” she said. “That was the whole goal.”
There will be some differences, starting with the serving of dinner. She will continue to serve breakfast all day. As in Milan, lunch also will be served.
Milan was good to her in her two-plus years there, Luppen said. “We have been really successful there. It’s been a great location. We are at a 4.8 for our stars on Facebook, 4.4 on Google,” she said.
But serving dinner was not really possible there, she said. The restaurant she replaced had been open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and been there for 58 years. When she tried serving dinner, she just didn’t fill enough tables.
But she clearly likes to cook dinner, too.
“I love cooking prime rib, Friday-night catfish, salmon, shrimp — all of that good stuff for the evening meals,” Luppen said.
“We have awesome, awesome steaks,” she added. “Actually, all of our food is awesome. We do quality food, and it’s fresh, at good prices. We don’t freeze anything.”
Dinner also will be complemented with a full-service bar, another thing that Sylvia’s Cafe did not have.
Yes, she knows the new location is at a busy intersection; she already lives in Moline.
But she has noticed when the light is red, people will allow drivers to pull out of or into the restaurant’s parking lot.
Sylvia’s Cafe was noted for its breakfasts, including wraps and piles. The latter include hash browns, choice of vegetable, choice of meat, and eggs on top. “It’s kind of like a skillet, but we call it the pile,” she said.
Her goal at the new place is to be rated 5 stars.
And she is quite happy to be closer to home.
“I think we have a lot to offer the city of Moline,” she said. “I am very much looking forward to it.”