McCleland’s Bistro brings a fresh plate to Carbondale dining

By Gus Bode

McCleland’s Bistro, 100 S. Illinois Ave., knocked the dining experience in Carbondale up a few notches upon its opening on Saturday, August 30.

“I would really like to give Carbondale a nice, upscale restaurant,” owner Anita Pate said. “A place to bring family and friends.”

McCleland’s relocated from Murphysboro to what Pate considers a better location on the corners of Illinois Avenue and Main Street in downtown Carbondale.


Pate loved the building when she considered it three years ago for the home of the bistro. She had already signed a lease in Murphysboro and was just waiting for the chance to relocate to Carbondale.

McCleland’s presents a new option among a sea of fast food eateries scattered around Carbondale. The bistro provides an elegant dining experience with the added atmosphere for celebration.

Housed in one of the oldest buildings in Carbondale, McCleland’s uses the building’s own architecture to create a personalized, elegant setting. Mike Jennings and general manager Dean Lipe decorated the bistro in an art-deco style. With a black-and-white color scheme for the linens and drapery, sculpture and lots of green foliage, the bistro achieves a comfortable yet very classy atmosphere.

To add to the elegant ambience of the bistro, in the back dining area there is a candle-lit fireplace and a gurgling fountain nestled behind the tables. The bistro’s refined style only helps to compliment the menu.

Pate, who said she learned from a long line of fantastic cooks in her family, considers the menu at McCleland’s to be very sophisticated.

The bistro’s menu has been scaled up from the previous one at the Murphysboro location, according to head chef David Holland. McCleland’s specializes inn homemade soups, fresh baked breads, a full bar and a constantly changing variety of quiche.

“Everything is cooked and prepared in-house,” Pate said.


The menu consists of unique entrees chosen by Holland. He said the dinner menu at McCleland’s is of a French-California style. The dinner menu consists of appetizers such as crab cakes and marinated portabella mushrooms. Entrees range from lamb, steaks and the staff’s favorite, Lobster Thermador.

On Sundays, diners can come and enjoy a special brunch.

Another sweet specialty of McCleland’s is its unique desserts created by McCleland’s own pastry chef, Seth Miner-Jumps.

McCleland’s Bistro is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.