Details for Riverdock Restaurant (Mel's)

Riverdock Restaurant (Mel's)

Display in The Interactive Cruising Guidebook
Average rating 3.7 stars from 25 reviews

Address 310 South Park
Hardin, IL 62047


After hours contact

Facility type

Marina - NO
Club - NO
Fuel - NO
Repair - NO
Municipal - NO
Other - YES
Other info: Restaurant closed due to fire in June 2015, no information on when it might be rebuilt. Docks may still be available.


If you plan on spending the night, call ahead and let them know. They'll take down your boat name and let you know how filled the dock might be.

VHF channel

Web site

Email contact

Owner, manager



Payments acceptedCredit cards - YES
Checks - NO

Payment info

All major credit cards are accepted.

Payment discounts

Operation (seasonal or year-round)

Additional info:


Mile 21.1, RDB. The docks are directly off the river with no surprises.





Tide & current additional info

Current varies with the season. You'll know the current speed if you've come down the river to get here.


Approach: Unknown
Transient dockage: 8
Fuel dock: Unknown

Other depth info:

Dock typesWood - NO
Concrete - NO
Floating - YES
Fixed - NO
T/Alongside - YES
Other - NO

Additional info: 250 feet of dock face. The south 2/3 of the dock is a very low floating dock - 1 foot off the water. The north 1/3 is a higher than norma floating dock - 2.5 feet off the water.

Size restrictionsLOA max: Unknown
Beam max: Unknown

Other info:


Transient: Unknown
Total: Unknown
Transient price: Unknown

Other price info: $25 flat rate for overnight dockage if you eat dinner at Mel's Restaurant.


Transient: Unknown
Total: Unknown
Transient price: Unknown

Other price info:

AC power30 amp - NO
50 amp - NO
100 amp - NO

Additional info: No electric available.

Pricing info:

Cable TV (and pricing)

Phone hookup (and pricing)

Water (and pricing)


Dinghy access

Liveaboard info


Fuel brand:

Gas priceUnknown

Other price info:

Diesel priceUnknown

Other price info:


Yes - Can get propane in the small bottles downtown.

Pets welcomeYes

Other pet info:

Disability access

Launch service


Pump out









No - Fire gutted the restaurant, June 2015.




Yes - Within one mile.


Yes - Downtown, 5 minute walk.


Yes - Mel's Riverside Dock restaurant was gutted by fire in June 2015


Hotels or motels

Repair capabilities


Haul out capabilities


Storage facilities


Fishing supplies


Chartering capabilities


Internet access

Yes - There is weak ATT and weak Verizon signal strength here. There are some open WiFi spots but they are unreliable and difficult to access.

Boat ramp availability



Other services


Reviews for Riverdock Restaurant (Mel's)
Welcome stop, 2017-09-12
Captain: , Scotia, NY (40)

With the water being so low as of this writing, there were little to no anchorages south of Peoria. Docks were rusty old barges with an interesting stairwell to climb to shore. No amenities. However, I'm still rating it a 5 since it was so wonderful to have a place to tie up to. The daughter of the owner drove my husband to the nearby stores and our dinner was fantastic. I would highly recommend this stop along the way.

Enjoyed our stay, 2016-09-18
Captain: , Cheboygan, MI (50)

Not a fancy restaurant. But good honest food and wonderful service. My wife asked if she should order the shrimp or brisket, waitress brought out a sample of the brisket for her to try before she ordered!

Charged $25 to stay tied up for the night.

Restaurant serves breakfast lunch and dinner.

No complaints, 2016-08-08
Captain: , Wicomico Church (610)

Food reasonable and good; no services

Simple dock but easy and well positioned for the loop, 2015-10-10
Captain: , Beaver Island, MI (291)

I give it five stars understanding it is what it is. Not a marina but rather a dock that is easy to spot, easy and deep to get onto,. easy walk to town and great place to walk or run your mutt.
We were there Oct.9,2015 and rest. still closed for fire damage so dock was free. No power or water, just a safe easy place to put in for the night rather than anchor

Nice place to spend the night, 2015-09-25
Captain: , Yorktown, VA (300)

Called the owner in advance...she was very welcoming and advised of other boats intending to spend the night and that there was no charge for the use of the dock. Only room on the dock for four standard looper boats. Two floating metal docks joined together. Upper dock is about three feet above water level, has good cleats and vertical wood rub strips. Fenders need to be almost at water level for the downstream dock. It also has good cleats. Water was deep at the dock even though it is right against the shore. Town has the basic essentials you might want...we used the pharmacy but ate dinner on board. However, there are a few restaurants and bars in easy walking distance

Docks Available, 2015-09-16
Captain: , Winter Park (491)

Stayed at the docks tonight with two other boaters. Recommend calling ahead for space availability. Price ($0) is right until they get the restaurant back on line.

Welcome stop, 2015-08-20
Captain: , Dunedin, FL (7375)

Great stop just 20 miles before Grafton. At least one other restautant in town in addition to Mel's Riverdock, several bars that also have food.

08/20/2015 update: Mel's Riverdock was gutted by fire June 2015. Docks may still be available.

Good stop and restaurant, 2014-10-10
Captain: , Austin, TX (877)

We spent the night along with 3 other boats. Enjoyed dinner and breakfast at Mel's.

Very Friendly, 2013-12-16
Captain: , Green Cove Springs, FL (165)

Awesome BBQ and a welcome dock. There was no power or water on the dock the night we stayed over.

Good restaurant, 2013-10-16
Captain: , Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH (400)

Try the brisket, outstanding. Nothing else there, very rural, but a free dock.

no fuel, no marina, so what?, 2013-04-12
Captain: , St Louis MO (100)

This does not pretend to be a marina, it's a resturant with dock! Terrific food, reasonable prices. Specialty is smoked meats. Huge pork chop to rival Patty's on Kentucky Lake. Beef brisket worth writing home about. Home made pies to go, because your meal was huge and you don't have room to eat it, but you can't pass it up!

The food is terrific!, 2012-10-01
Captain: , Colorado Springs CO (180)

This is what I thought the "heartland" would be about...small towns, motorcycles, great home cooked food and lots of it! The dock was secure with plenty of water directly off the channel. No services, but who cares with pies like that!

No Fuel available , 2012-09-28
Captain: , Jacksonville, Fl (245)

Fuel is no longer available, the delivery service is no longer in business. This is nice stop, very reasonable and the resturant was nice. We were not able to connect to the wifi. We have a wifi antenna on the boat which usually overcomes weak signals. Our waitress told us they had only gotten off dialup in this town last year. We had no service for cellphone on Sprint or for Internet on Version which is built into our iPad.

Quiet, easy in and out, good food, 2012-09-25
Captain: , Spring Lake, MI (379)

Getting to the dock is easy as they parallels the river which is wide at this point. The current is low and the tug wakes were not a problem at all. The restaurant is very good and typical of mid western food. The brisket was quite special as others have noticed. You can get lots of killer deserts such as pie with meringue 4 in high. A good stop after a long rather uninteresting section of the Illinois River.

Hey, the food is worth it!, 2012-09-21
Captain: , St. Louis, MO (1850)

Dock is a long steel "barge" about 6 to 8 feet wide. Very secure but a little slippery when wet. As already mentioned this stop is all bout the food at Mel's Riverdock Restaurant. Holy cats! I had the spare ribs and I made a pig of myself. The pork chop is huge. Friendly people. Worth stop or maybe a day cruise up from Grafton for lunch while you are waiting out the barge traffic to head south. If you are staying over you can use the restaurant bathrooms while they are open. They also serve breakfast.

Best food in the USA, 2012-09-12
Captain: , New Zealand (1087)

I have rated it 5 stars despite it having no electric because it has the best food I have tasted so far in the USA in the 3 months I have been here. The dock has plenty of water and is safe and handy and the $25 overnight charge is a pittance compared to the benefits and I am surprised that there are peolple that resent paying it. Do yourself a favour and stay for a meal at least - you don't have to pay dockage unless you stay overnight.

MUST stop here !, 2012-09-07
Captain: , Cape Coral FL (4188)

This should be a MUST stop for all Loopers. The dock is easy to tie to, $25 reasonable and a lot easier than anchoring. 9ft of water here and out of the current. But the best part is the restaurant. You will never have had beef brisket (or any meat) as tender as you can get here. It is utterly amazing. AND they have 10 different home made pies, plus bread pudding. ALL HOME MADE. THis is a great personalable place. We loved it!!!
Would rate this 5 stars if it had water and electric.

Good Stop on the Illinois, 2012-08-19
Captain: , punta gorda, fl (1448)

Three stars for strategic location. Metal floating docks on the river. Part is low (a bit over one foot) and part is higher (maybe two and one-half feet high). We tied up to the higher one. $25/night. No electric/water. Short walk to restaurant. Good restaurant. Wakes were not bad. Nine feet deep when we were there.

Great food!, 2011-11-13
Captain: , Marco Island, Florida (303)

Stop at Mel's Riverdock Restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner with an appetite. They have great food. Our favorites are the beef brisket and the blackened rib-eye. Be sure and leave room for a piece of their homemade pie, or take it back to the boat for a midnight snack. Mel used to let you stay at the dock for free if you ate dinner in the restaurant. Now it's a $25.00 fee for overnight dockage. So we go and anchor behind Mortland Island 2 miles to the south at mm19.

Just a dock plus food., 2011-10-13
Captain: , Erie, Pa. (1896)

No power, no facilities, but you can tie and food is good.

High water stop, 2011-07-07
Captain: , Absarokee Mt (1228)

The face dock has been improved since we were last here. It is a floating barge like surface, very rugged and stable to tie to even in high water. The disadavantage is the walkway to shore is not usable so we had to dinghy in. Food is good, catfish is great.

Only dock for a long way SB., 2011-06-02
Captain: , Whitehall, Mi (1754)

We've stopped twice. First time we ate at the restraunt. Good food helpful owner. Simple but useful. Second time it was high water and we could not get to shore.

It's a great little stopover, 2010-09-07
Captain: , Collierville TN (977)

250 ft of face dock. no elec, no water. great restaurant and the price is right.

Cheap stay, great food....., 2009-10-28
Captain: , Melbourne Florida (4616)

Great stop over and the price is right. Must have the brisket and a piece of pie! The serving are BIG. Best so far. Downtown is close if you need anything. Docks are lit.

Great Family Food, 2007-11-21
Captain: , Sioux City, IA mm 732 Missouri Rvr (198)

Best Dry Rub BBQ on the river, big dock, short walk.

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