You Gotta Eat: Charlie’s at Sunset Cove

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 5:42 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2023 at 6:00 PM CDT
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EAST PEORIA - There’s nothing like a meal by the river. This week, I’m headed to a spot in town serving great food with an even better view.

Chris Stewart and his good pal, Charlie, knew it was time to open Charlie’s at Sunset Cove when a popular spot along the water became vacant.

Chris says coming up with the name was easy.

“Charlie is nine years old. He’s been with me for a long time - travels with me to a lot of places, rides on the motorcycle,” Chris said. “I was just trying to think of a name for the place, and it goes hand-in-hand.”

You can find Charlie's at Sunset Cove at 1111 Sunset Drive in East Peoria.
You can find Charlie's at Sunset Cove at 1111 Sunset Drive in East Peoria.(25 News)

At Charlie’s the scenic river view makes for the backdrop, but the fabulous food and dynamite drinks are what keep people coming back for more.

It’s all your classic bar & grill favorites, but many with a unique Charlie’s twist.

We start off with a best-selling appetizer: crispy gouda cheese bites, loaded with bacon bits and served with ranch dressing.

We keep the cheese train going with some homemade pizzas - Chris usually makes them himself, with fresh ingredients and the potential for some great pulls.

Fabulous homemade pepperoni pizza with a parmesan-sprinkled crust.
Fabulous homemade pepperoni pizza with a parmesan-sprinkled crust.(25 News)

Finally, it’s time for another Battle of the Buns: Charlie’s is known for its “Buoy Burger” which comes covered in a layer of mozzarella cheese, but folks around here tell me the Tenderloin is the true champion.

This one comes with a massive patty big enough to last several meals. One regular tells me the taste reminds him of buttered popcorn.

Charlie's massive homemade tenderloin.
Charlie's massive homemade tenderloin.(25 News)

Whether you’re in the mood for an upbeat treat or more of a relaxing experience, Charlie’s has you covered.

And as the weather heats up, so do the nearby activities.

“Boat rentals, jet ski rentals, kayak rentals, camping, fishing,” Chris said. “We’ll have some good developments to come.”

Add in live music, and simply put, this is a great place to have a great time.

A couple of Charlie's famous "Fishbowls"
A couple of Charlie's famous "Fishbowls"(25 News)

You can find Charlie’s at Sunset Cove at 1111 Sunset Drive in East Peoria - right between the Tazewell and Woodford County lines.

Here are their hours:

Monday: Closed.

Tuesday: 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Wednesday: 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Thursday: 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Friday: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.

Saturday: 6:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.

Sunday: 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.