From all of us at Kelleher’s we would like to welcome you to our restaurant.
The Kelleher's family immigrated to America from Ireland in the 1700's. They settled in the quaint Midwestern town of Elkader Iowa. In the 1940's, Peoria, Illinois became home for good. Kelleher's Irish Pub & Eatery is a family owned and operated establishment, where everyone is Irish and everyone is welcome which is extended one hundred fold.
Kelleher’s is located on Peoria’s historic downtown riverfront and is situated in one of its oldest warehouses. The building was built in the late 1800's for a farm implement and plow company. Later the city of Peoria purchased it for a horse barn for their Fire Department. This building is where the Fire Department worked on some of their first Fire Engines. Then the O'Neill Bro's. storage and transfer bought it 1920's right after World War I, for storage of some of their trucks, and to work on them. O’Neill Bros. used the building up to the late 1990's. That is when Pat Sullivan and John Hunt bought the building. Pat and John bought the building mostly for storage, however their purchase of the building completed their ownership of the entire block. Pat and John's other company J.P. Companies, a riverfront development company, is restoring the old buildings for the Le View Carrie' area (old quarters).
Early in 2001 Pat and John were wanting to open a Irish pub in the Le View Carrie’. Their first attempt with a outside client fell through. At the time Pat's daughter was touring and working in restaurants and pubs in Ireland for one year. Pat told her to do some fact finding on traditional Irish pubs, so he and John could open their own Irish pub. She came home in June of 2001 with a lad soon to be her husband.
On August 1st, with the help of restoration specialist and architect Gary Sandburg, they not only restored the building but added an atrium. They were opening for business on December 1, 2001 but didn't have a name. John knew the Sullivan family for many years and asked Pat his mother's maiden name, which of course is Kelleher.
Pat and John did most of decorating with artifacts they had and collected out of old buildings, and with items his daughter brought home from Ireland. The best decorating was done of course with the help of their wives. Just celebrating their 5th anniversary with Irish food and a great deal of beer and sprits.
Here at Kelleher’s we’re sure there is something for everyone. And remember everyone’s Irish when they step into Kelleher’s.
The Kelleher Family and Elkader, Iowa