About Ross' Diner!
We're the Home of gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian dishes and are proudly known as the Home of the Magic Mountain, Volcano, and nice buns
Harold "Lyle" Ross opened his first restaurant in Toledo, Iowa in 1938, and in 1940 he moved to Bettendorf, IA.
When war broke out, he became a cook in the Navy serving the troops in New Guinea, and then became a quartermaster. In 1946 he married Sylvia "June" Scudder. June was a good cook and loved people, working in the restaurant as cook, hostess and bookkeeper while raising four children.
In 1965, they opened Ross' 24-hour Restaurant in the Quad Cities. Harold Ross knew almost everyone who frequented the restaurant and became known for his quick wit and salty stories. At about 10 a.m. on weekday mornings he would entertain the coffee-break crowd with what has been called, "half-sermon, half-lecture and half-comedy routine." Harold and June ran Ross' together until he retired in 1975.
Today, Cynthia Ross-Freidhof and her husband Ron own Ross' Restaurant. Melissa Freidhof-Rodgers has recently come aboard as manager carrying Harold Ross' all-natural, home-cooked vision into the third generation.
Bless all our fabulous family and friends who eat at our soon-to-be 80 year old diner!
True family restaurants are few and far between these days, but quality, locally grown homemade food at reasonable prices has been more than a career for the Ross family, it has been a family tradition since 1938.
Harold Ross truly is a textbook example of the “American Dream.” Growing up in rural Iowa, Harold gained experience both working on the family farm and with one of the first Maid Rites in Iowa. He enlisted in the Navy (even playing semi-pro football there) and while serving overseas, dreamed of starting his own farm-to-table restaurant; a place where folks would feel just like they were at home. He made his dream a reality, opening his first restaurant in 1938 and after returning from service, he married his sweetheart June in Peoria. Soon, he encountered some problems with a local mobster family called the Shelton Gang. They wanted a cut of his restaurant slot machine earnings and he begrudgingly agreed, not wanting to argue with the gang and their guns. He promptly sold the business and began researching where he wouldn’t encounter the same kind of problem. This landed him in Bettendorf, Iowa purchasing his original piece of property from the Bettendorf family.
Ross’ Restaurant has become a Quad Cities landmark for many families. We love having visitors come back to the area after moving away and tell us that Ross’ is a part of what home means to them.Harold loved to argue and debate about politics and perhaps this is why Ross’ has become such a popular stop for politicians. We have hosted President Obama and Vice President Biden as well as many celebrities and rock stars. Ross’ has been featured on Good Morning America, The Rachel Maddow Show, CNN, Iowa Ingredient, EenVandaag in Holland, and many local and national newspapers. Ross’ was the grand prize winner of America’s Best Restaurant Family in 2014.