As most of you know, I’ve been traveling back and forth from New York to Iowa because I’m renovating a home there. Whenever I have a chance, I love finding new places that have popped up since I moved (I haven’t lived in Iowa for almost 5 years.)
I first discovered Me and Billy through a local news segment discussing the rise of the price of eggs. Although the interview was interesting, my attention focused on the design of the restaurant. Sleek subway tiles, industrial lighting and eye-catching patterns were elements that drew me in. I immediately grabbed my iPhone and searched for the restaurant’s address and made plans to check the place out by the weekend.
Upon visiting Me and Billy, I felt an immediate sense of family togetherness. Billy Collins, the man behind the name, approached each table to make conversations with the guests. My family and I really enjoyed our experience at Me and Billy, so I knew I just had to highlight their business on this blog.
During my most recent visit to Me and Billy, I was able to sit down with the family behind the business and learn about how they’re making their mark on downtown Davenport.
The idea to open a ‘bar with great food’ originated when Fran Maus (‘The Boss Lady’) craved a unique taste and atmosphere in the downtown Davenport area. After realizing that her ideas of starting a restaurant could become a reality, Maus and her husband started building a business plan and began searching for the right location, with help from the rest of her family.
“From the street, it’s a very attractive building,” said Billy. “It just needed the right idea to fit into this building. As [it was] gutted, Sarah walked in and said she had a vision. That vision is what you see today.”
Sarah Collins (‘Jill of All Trades’) said her interior design skills came from her mother and the input of her sister. “It was a joint effort; you pick up design hints from your own parents and upbringing. I think [our mother] has a lot of style and it rubbed off on us- there’s a little bit of each of us sprinkled throughout the entire space.”
Once they had the space, the restaurant and bar needed a name. That’s where Me and Billy came in, which was an ode to Billy’s first boat. The space splits into three elements- a formal dining area, a comfortable bar area and a private event space (complete with a ‘cheers’ marquee light.)
Although I’m no longer based near the Quad Cities area, I appreciate how the team behind Me and Billy work with their community. Recently rated the Quad City Chamber of Commerce 2015 Hot Spot of the Year, the restaurant plays host to many fundraisers and private events, as well as participates in community events.
“We go to and host a lot of fundraisers- it’s just engrained in us, it’s second nature,” said Maus.
This coming weekend, the team is hosting a block party with hopes of getting locals to visit and discover amazing businesses all in walking distance.
“Both of our parents are entrepreneurs,” said Sarah. “With that comes knowing a lot of people [and] being involved. All of it is linked and it’s important for people to know that we’re local and we support local businesses and communities.”
“Davenport is our home and we’re very proud of that,” said Billy. “We want to keep building on the success we’ve had by inviting people and making sure they feel welcomed and part of the community.”
The menu features fresh ingredients that, when paired together in a meal, compliment each other. During this visit, I had the delicious BLT Salad with added grilled chicken. Between the mix of protein and fresh ingredients, the salad was the perfect solution for a hot day. My mother ordered the Apple and Ginger Pork Belly which came with a bourbon apple sauce drizzled over a bed of potato hash and caramelized pearl onions.
The meals not only tasted great but were beautifully plated and were that items on the menu were reasonably priced too. For about $39, my mother and I ordered an appetizer, two meals and three drinks each. That’s a deal to me!
Speaking of drinks, they’re delicious. I can’t rave enough about the drinks served at Me and Billy. Be sure to try the Arnold Palmer Sangria, the classic moscow mule (I had some pear vodka added to mine!) or the Pear Martini.
From left to right: Sarah Collins, Fran Maus, Mary Collins and Billy Collins.
Me and Billy
200 West 3rd Street
Davenport, IA 52801