Moline Memories - MHS 66 Friends

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Plantation - Velie Mansion

Velie Mansion - The Plantation Restaurant

The one place to eat in the Quad-Cities was The Plantation, site of the old Velie Mansion.

The waitresses were arrogant, as if the diners were not qualified to order their food.

Going there was exciting and dramatic. The food was excellent, and the prices were fair. Since then, how many have eaten at overblown restaurants where the decor was garish, the food mediocre, and the prices outrageous?

Going to The Plantation meant this was a big date. I took my future wife there the night we were engaged. We ate there every so often after that. We still wonder, over 40 years later, if anyone made shrimp cocktails any better.


"Some say the ghost of slain restaurateur Nick Chirekos walks the old Velie mansion in Moline, from its days as the popular Plantation restaurant and night club. Mr. Chirekos, 59, was shot to death in 1979 on the second floor of the sprawling Velie villa nearly. He unknowingly walked in as a man was robbing his office safe. One tale has several kitchen employees hearing Nick's voice. A former bartender said he entered The Plantation's locked Tahitian Room a couple months after the murder and ``heard a man clear his throat.'' Family and friends say it's all nonsense." QC Online


  1. I was a cocktail waitress there and I never had an arrogant day in my life! Nick was a very nice man and always treated his staff well.It was sad how he died but he did have many friends that were unsavory, if you know what I mean. The people who worked there worked hard and they were like a family. I remember them very well and that was over 40 years ago.

    1. I also worked there as a banquet busboy when I was in high school at UTHS. I also remember taking my first airplane trip as a 16 year-old to Oregon, and on the flight from Denver to Moline I sat next to Nick Cherikos and he was a nice as could be. I left the Plantation a few months before he was murdered. It was a great first job!

  2. I am trying to find some kind of memorabilia from eitther the plantation or velie's restaurant --any ideas where to look?

  3. There were always stories that Nick Cherikos had mob connections, but his murder was anything but a mob hit. He was murdered by an employee in a robbery.

  4. My name is Steve Ferry. I was in the class of '64. The Quad Cities Junior Achievement Program held the most memorable banquets there. In 1975, while working with my regional manager, he insisted that I take him to The Plantation. The piano bar captivated people visiting to Moline! There is a very rich (hmm, nice pun) history dating back to pre-World War I

  5. the Huts in the Tahitian Room were for special dates -- and the Tempura shrimp, never have found that recipe but I still make the Plantation salad dressing as a special treat. A very Special Restaurant..gone but never forgotten...Judith lambrecht Dean

  6. The Plantation was for very special dates or occasions. The Huts in the Tahitian Room..oh so special and the Shrimp tempura...never have found that recipe but I still make the special Plantation Salad Drsg. Have been gone from the QC's for more that 40 yrs but the Plantation will always hold the very best memories.