Back April 30, 2019
Travel Blog

Molly’s Kitchen & Bar | Fresh ingredients and cocktails

Restaurant + Bakery + Inn = Perfection

Molly’s in Mount Carroll, Illinois is known for their fresh ingredients, hand-crafted cocktails, beautiful ambiance, and top-notch customer service.

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Husband and wife team, Ben Johnson and Molly McDonough, met in college in New York and married eight years later in Los Angeles. Molly worked as a pastry chef at Mozza Osteria and Pizzeria before leaving Los Angeles and traveling to play music with Ben. They decided to spend a winter in Ben’s home town of Mount Carroll. After exploring the country, they decided to stay and open Molly’s Kitchen and Bar. Open for almost 5 years, Molly’s restaurant has evolved into a staple for so many people in the area.

Molly grew up cooking and has always loved to entertain. She is always trying to push herself to make more complex dishes and utilize ingredients in a different way to achieve the flavors and presentations that make dining at Molly’s so memorable. They focus on a small, evolving menu that allows great care to be taken with every dish.

They think out of the box

The restaurant came together one piece at a time. Ben and Molly knew they wanted to try a different seating system not normally seen in this area. They wanted their customers to have a shared experience and introduced a community aspect of bench seating that allows you to sit close and converse with tables next to you. Repurposed materials were used when designing the space. Old wooden gates are displayed near the kitchen that came from the Field Museum in Chicago. A local woodworker made all of the tables.

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Ben and Molly believe that the community is the dynamic of the restaurant. When they first opened it was very low-key and full of local foodies. Slowly it started earning a following and has since become one of Northwest Illinois’ best restaurants. A large percentage drive around 45 minutes to get to Molly’s for a weekend dinner. Many die-hard customers don’t miss a weekend meal. They also have a back patio that is open seasonally. 

Molly’s Kitchen & Bar is open Wednesday – Saturday 4:30pm – 9:00pm.

The Bakery

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The bakery is located just a few doors down from the restaurant. It originally started as prep-space for the restaurant, but soon turned into a popular lunch and coffee spot. A friend and previous co-worker, Elizabeth, from Los Angles, moved to Mount Carroll for over a year to help open and implement staple recipes at the Bakery. It started with bagels, muffins, and coffee and has since grown to serving lunch and a wide range of amazing baked goods. Kadina is the smiling front-face of Molly’s Bakery. She does an amazing job of ensuring that she and the staff make you feel welcome. The Bakery has its own following of loyal customers who don’t miss their daily coffees and scones.

Molly’s Bakery is open Tuesday – Saturday 7:00 am – 3:00 pm

The Inn at Molly’s

The Inn at Molly’s was opened two years later. The restored 1865 building features two 600 square-foot suites that combine rural charm with contemporary amenities and style. One of the sun-flooded suites overlooks Mount Carrol’s historic, brick market streets. The second suite features a private deck.

Guests will find fresh fruit, yogurt, home-made granola, coffee, and tea, as well as fruit juice in the kitchen.

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Molly’s Kitchen & Bar 
110 W Market St
Mt Carroll, IL 61053 
(815) 906-0052

Restaurant website: https://www.mollysmountcarroll.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mollysmountcarroll

Book the Inn: https://www.book-it-now.com/mollysmountcarroll

For any other inquiries, please email:
or call, 815-684-5411.

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