The Candlelight Inn opened in June of 1967 under the ownership of Chuck Sisson, Lyman Prescott and Bob Prescott. After a short period, Chuck and Lyman left the business, although Lyman continued to own the building. The business thrived for more than 20 years, especially after the invention of Chicken George in the early 1970s. [Read more about our famous chicken tenders.]
In the mid 1980s Bob and his wife, Jan, decided that their next move should be to buy the building the restaurant occupied at the 100 block of West Third in downtown Sterling, but Lyman did not want to sell. So Bob and Jan proceeded looked at other options and settled on a location on the north end of Sterling at 2907 N. Locust. The building actually had been a barn at one time but was remodeled into a restaurant over the years. Before the Prescotts' purchase in 1989 it was a restaurant known as “The Country Squire.” Bob and Jan moved the business, remodeled and added on. Their customers followed them, and the Candlelight grew.
In 2000 their son Matthew came home, and took over the responsibility and ownership of the Sterling location. He saw a need to continue building the business, and in 2004 he built the Candlelight Inn at 2200 First Ave., Rock Falls. The new location brought a whole new look and attitude to the Candlelight Inn name.
In 2010 he leased the restaurant and marina in Clinton, Iowa, at 511 Riverview Drive, once again bringing a fresh perspective when his customers think of the Candlelight Inn, now one with a deck that overlooks the beautiful Mississippi River. In 2021, Candlelight Inn made another new home at the Lake Carroll Clubhouse outside Lanark, Illinois, serving area residents and golfers in the spring, summer and fall.
Matt made the difficult decision to close the Sterling location at the end of 2023. While many memories were made there, we know that many will also be made at our other locations.
The Candlelight Inn Restaurant has earned a reputation for having the highest-quality food, and top-notch staff and facilities, and we appreciate each and every one of our guests. We also offer in-house dining and catering services for your event needs. You can contact us for more information or learn more about us by browsing our pages.
Learn about Candlelight Inn’s in-house dining and catering history by visiting our restaurant, catering, and chicken tender blogs.
Click the button below to find out how our famous chicken strips got their start, and of course their name.