One of the Quad Cities’ landmark restaurants, Ross’ Restaurant in Bettendorf, is being put up for sale and its owners are retiring.

Ron and Cynthia Freidhof will retire after over 50 years of running Ross’, which has been at 2297 Falcon Avenue in Bettendorf since 2015.

Alex Kelly, NAI Ruhl Commercial Company (licensed in Iowa and Illinois), will be assisting the Freidhof family, according to a business release Tuesday. In tandem with the sale of the current location, the Freidhof family will retain the business and be searching for a smaller restaurant space to reopen with new management to continue the Ross’ generational legacy of providing quality home cooked food to the local community, travelers and presidential candidates.

The 85-year-old restaurant, founded by Cynthia’s father, Harold Ross, in 1938, moved to the Falcon Avenue location in 2015, after selling its downtown property to the Iowa Department of Transportation, due to eminent domain and the restaurant being directly in the path of the I-74 bridge construction.

“Losing the downtown property to eminent domain and the subsequent move was quite difficult for us, both as a family and business,” Ron Freidhof said in the release. “A big part of our hearts were left behind at the downtown location.”

Joe Biden
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden leaves after eating lunch at Ross’ Restaurant, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in Bettendorf, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

After the forced move, Ross’ was faced with many challenges including the changed business climate of the pandemic, supply issues, rising food costs, and staffing shortages.

“My wife and I have realized that when you love what you do, there is never a perfect time to step away,” Ron said. “But we aren’t getting any younger and we have realized that life is short.

“After 50 incredible and memorable years in the restaurant business, my wife and I are ready to travel, enjoy our retirement and more time with our grandchildren,” he said.

Ross’ has been one of the most notable spots for visitors to the Quad Cities, with its long history of celebrity visitors and presidential candidates during the Iowa caucuses. Among the most memorable visitors was former President Barack Obama, who made a surprise stop to Ross’ in June of 2011.

President Barack Obama greets patrons as he stops for lunch at Ross’ Restaurant in Bettendorf, Iowa, June 28, 2011. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

However, according to owner Cynthia Ross-Freidhof, the most important visitors have been the many generations of Quad Citizens served. “It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the greater Quad-City community for most of our lives, I would like to express our sincere gratitude and thank all of our customers for their support throughout the years,” she said.

“From serving hungry customers during their late-night stops, to seeing the same families weekly for breakfast after church on Sundays, we truly have had the best customers in the world, they are like our extended family and we will miss them all dearly,” she said,

For more information on the restaurant, click HERE.