Jennifer Chen from The Plaid Rabbit and BREW: Paper goods and tasty meals

Person: Jennifer Chen, owner

Place(s):

  • The Plaid Rabbit (1018 Mound Street, Davenport, IA). As of writing, it's open Tuesday-Thursday from 10am-5pm and Friday-Saturday from 10am-4pm (closed Sunday and Monday).
  • BREW (1104 Jersey Ridge Road, Davenport, IA). As of writing, it's open Tuesday-Thursday from 11am-10pm, Friday from 11am-midnight, and Saturday-Sunday from 8am-midnight (closed Monday).

Thing(s):

  • The Plaid Rabbit is a shop selling custom invitations, stationery, writing accessories, and gifts.
  • BREW is a restaurant and bar serving tasty food and great drinks.

Brendan sat down with Jennifer recently to chat about her two businesses in the Village of East Davenport.

[BI] What is The Plaid Rabbit and how did you get started?

[JC] We're mainly known for stationery and invitations - everything from kids' birthdays to weddings. We also sell a lot of customized gifts for things like graduations, weddings, and the like. 

The Plaid Rabbit has a long history in the Village of East Davenport. It was around for 20 years or so under a different owner, and then it closed, and I missed it. So, I started all over. It still has the same name and concept, but it's also new in a way.

[BI] On a side note, I hear you're now in the restaurant business, too.

[JC] Yes, my husband and I also own BREW, which is a restaurant right down the street on the corner of Jersey Ridge Road and 11th Street. We live in the neighborhood and knew that it was about to be sold, and we really didn't want it to change too much, so we decided to buy it.

One of the many things that makes BREW unique is that we have a tiny little kitchen that's right behind the bar, so we have to use the space wisely. We offer sandwiches, flatbreads, salads, and more, and the chef offers a special every day. If the weather cooperates, we'll be opening the patio soon, which just about doubles our seating space and is a great place to visit on a nice day. 

[BI] What's something that surprises people about The Plaid Rabbit?

[MD] You can shop local and still shop in your jammies from your couch. You can actually click through from our website to a few vendors where I get almost the same amount of commission through online sales as if you came into the store and ordered something. By doing this, you help support a local business and keep more of your money right here in the QC.

[BI] If someone walked in your businesses and asked for tips on what to do in the Quad Cities, what would you say?

[MD] We get quite a few people who stop in after riding on the Channel Cat, which is a local water taxi service that you can ride around to several stops around the QC, including the Village. Of course, being in the Village, I always recommend that you walk around and check out the other shops and restaurants.

The John Deere Pavilion in Moline is a staple - guests love checking out the huge machinery and take fun photos there. And catching a game at Modern Woodmen Park is great in the summertime.

[BI] Thanks, Jennifer! Check out The Plaid Rabbit on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram and BREW on Facebook and Yelp.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Know of a business, person, event, place, or something else that's making the Quad Cities a better place? We'd love to hear about it. Drop us a line.