MALDEN — The Feed Store and Watering Hole is no stranger to Bureau County residents. From its hearty home cooking to its popular community-oriented fundraiser events, the Malden-based restaurant has been satisfying customers for more than 20 years.
Popular cook Janice Woodford opened the doors to the business in May 1993. What started as just a one-room dining area, quickly turned into a spacious restaurant — complete with two dining rooms and a full bar.
Looking back, Woodford said cooking began as just something she liked to do at home. She had built a 20-year career as a hairdresser, but she had thoughts to one day open up her own restaurant.
When the opportunity arose, she took the chance and has been met with success ever since.
Her restaurant has been reviewed by places like the Chicago Tribune, Peoria Journal Star, and Sauk Valley News.
Many flock to the restaurant for its popular sirloins, rib eyes, hand-breaded tenderloins and hand-patted burgers, Woodford said.
The Feed Store’s menu can be described as traditional American. There’s a little something to please any taste bud — whether it be chicken, pork, beef, pasta or pizza.
“We’re just good food, no gimmicks,” Woodford said.
After a satisfying main entree, the dessert menu is also sure to please with its variety of homemade deserts — from pies, carrot cake, cheesecake and more.
Aside from her expertise in cooking, Woodford is also known for her popular fundraisers hosted throughout the year.
For the third consecutive year, The Feed Store will host its Mingle on Main event during the last weekend in July. The event brings out a display of antique cars, tractors and motorcycles. It’s a great time to get out and about, check out what’s on display, enjoy music and see friends and family. The funds raised at the event benefit a new organization each year.
“I think everybody should support a cause. I appreciate my family, my kids and their health, and it’s nice to help someone else who is needing it,” Woodford explained.
Also, The Feed Store is known for its event Ride with Ron, a memorial motorcycle ride for Woodford’s late husband who passed away in 2010.
Many may remember Ron’s motorcycle repair shop, The Hog House, located next door to the restaurant. Woodford said when the shop was open, it was advertised that anyone was welcome to ride and dine.
“When you ride a motorcycle you have to have a destination. You’re usually riding to a point where you eat, so when we would ride together, we might ride to Wisconsin for lunch because you’re wanting to ride anyway,” she said.
For this reason, many motorcyclists from around the area and out of town are drawn to the restaurant. The Feed Store gives riders a destination place where they can slip into a booth and feast on a hearty meal.
The Feed Store and Watering Hole has its own Facebook page, where photos of numerous menu items can be viewed, as well as the menu itself.
The restaurant’s hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
On Wednesday nights, the restaurant serves a special homemade pizza, and on Saturday nights a prime rib special is served.
Customers are invited to the Facebook page, and if they share a picture of food, they will be put into a drawing for a free pizza that month.