INTERVIEW WITH RICK LOPEZ, OWNER OF IGOR’S BISTRO IN ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS
By Michael McCarty
Igor’s Bistro is a Halloween-themed restaurant opened all year next to the Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island, Illinois at 3055 38th Street. The menu offers a tasty variety of entrees including The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, a chicken breast sandwich with ghost pepper sauce, melted provolone, Pico de Gallo and lettuce; The Goblin a 6 oz. brat burger; and Igor’s Italian Beef and Vampire Bite appetizers (mini pretzels). Plus they have wine and “spirits.”
Here is a link to their menu and website: http://igorsbistro.com
MICHAEL McCARTY: Why did you decide to open Igor’s Bistro?
RICK LOPEZ: Because the construction industry was giving me way too much stress and I felt that it was time to go back to what really makes me happy…cooking and all things creepy.
(Left to right: Rick Lopez, Michael McCarty & Cindy McCarty) (Photo by Mark McLaughlin)
MIKE: Ganson’s was a popular spot in Rock Island (2009-2016). What kind of feedback have you gotten from the old clientele from the old restaurant?
RICK: It has been a pretty positive transition from Ganson’s to Igor’s, but we still have our naysayers. Hell, we even have a neighbor who lives down the lane who really believes we are “Satan worshipers”. But she hasn’t even been in here to see what we are all about which is great service and good food made with love. But all in all, we feel the community likes us and we are slowly building up our clientele.
We have people who come in every other day, once a week, every two weeks and we’re proud of that. We take a lot of pride in what we do. We try to make everyone happy, so I hope people get a chance to stop by and enjoy our creepy atmosphere. You won’t be sorry! Your taste buds will thank you!
MIKE: You have many cool monster movie and horror posters and other Halloween memorabilia. Where did you acquire all that stuff?
(Photo by Michael McCarty)
RICK: This type of place has always been on the back burner while I was working in the construction industry and that was for twenty-five years. You can acquire a lot of stuff through the years! Just ask my wife. She was always asking why the hell do you need that. My answer always was you never know when we may need it…HA HA!!
MIKE: There is a story posted on the wall you wrote. Can you tell us more about that? And do you have any longer works of fiction in the works?
RICK: Well, that is the story of the jack-o-lantern and I was fascinated with the way Halloween progressed through the years, particularly the jack-o-lantern. I always had the painting that goes with the story in my mind as a mural but with the building we ended up being smaller than anticipated, so we commissioned the painting and there you have it…the story of Stingy Jack. As far as any works of fiction goes, I think I will leave that to you Michael, as you are the professional writer. My skills lean toward building stuff, cooking and scaring people!!
MIKE: Recently Igor’s Bistro had a run in with the City Council. Can you elaborate on this?
(Photo by Michael McCarty)
RICK: Yes, apparently we have some neighbors who absolutely hate life. They have been against us from the start. They did not like our little 18” x 24” signs in the yard so they contacted the city and we had to take them down because it was not in the special use permit or in the ordinance about signage on this particular building so we had to take them down. When I asked them to explain why, these little tiny signs were such an issue
(we were just trying to draw a little more attention to us so we may have a better chance to succeed.) I was told the special use permit only allowed a certain amount of square footage of signs on the property. I even asked them about the signs they put up when it is re-election time and if they had to go through the process of obtaining a special use permit to display their signs but was given no answer(imagine that). Needless to say there are plans in the works to remedy this.
MIKE: Is it true that if you mention, “The Monster Mike Discount,” you get .13 cents knocked off your bill????
RICK: ABSOLUTELY! You mention the Monster Mike discount and you will receive 13 creepy cents off your bill.
(Wouldn’t you give your hand to a fiend?
or those darn zombies are always asking for a “hand-out”…. LOL)
MIKE: Last words?
RICK: Like I said I hope all of your followers will come check us out and support us fellow horror fans who want to bring you excellent service and spooktacular food in a unique atmosphere. Who knows — you might even get to meet ‘Toby’ our resident ghost. Thanks for having me on your blog and I hope we will be seeing you and yours soon at Igor’s Bistro 3055 38th Street, Rock Island, Illinois.
Stay spooky my friends!!
Here is another link about Igor’s Bistro:
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