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Grape Life Rock Island to close as store


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Originally Posted Online: Feb. 01, 2013, 6:28 pm
Last Updated: Feb. 01, 2013, 10:07 pm
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By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com

Todaywill be the last day that The Grape Life Rock Island will be open as a wine store and lounge.

Jim and Nancy Renkes opened their second Grape Life at 1623 2nd Ave., Rock Island, in the summer of 2011, but it never attracted the number of customers that visit the original store at Kimberly and Elmore in Davenport, which has been open since 2008.

"The fact of the matter is, we are just so busy in Davenport. We've got a lot of stuff going on there," Mr. Renkes said. "There just wasn't enough traffic for us (in Rock Island). We are a retail business as much as a lounge, and we didn't get as much out of that as we hoped.

"It's too bad; we loved the building," he said. "It's a great-looking location, it has tons of personality. It gets to the point of dividing your resources. The city, Renaissance have been wonderful to us. There's just not enough traffic down there."

Over the past 12 years, the 3,000-square-foot buildinghas been home to four cafes; the one before Grape Life -- Le Meduse Espresso Emporium -- closed in late 2007.

Mr. Renkes used the stylish space for private receptions and will continue that end of the business.

The spot will be available exclusively for private parties or events such as birthdays, anniversaries, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, business events, retirements and more, with gourmet catering available.

"We'll test it out, see if that is the answer," Mr. Renkes said. "That way, you're only staffing when you have people. (Receptions) seemed to be the thing people really liked to do; we had people coming there specifically for that."

Grape Life Rock Island had two part-time staffers in addition to the owners and reduced its hours to Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. "Even that wasn't enough," Mr. Renkes said. "I think everybody gave it a good shot."

Mr. Renkes is making some changes to the Davenport store, including creating an area for more seating for live music nights. For more information, visit thegrapelife.com.





















 




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  Today is Saturday, Aug. 30, the 242nd day of 2014. There are 123 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: A large pair of elk, captured in Iowa, were exhibited in Market Square today.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Rock Island Arsenal dam was being constructed under the supervision of Charles Frances, of Lowell, Mass.
1914 — 100 years ago: Mrs. Frank Mixer, of Rock Island, was the winner of the final preliminary for the women's handicap golf cup at Rock Island arsenal links.
1939 — 75 years ago: Sixteen hundred persons — many from war-fearful Europe — arrived in New York aboard the German liner Bremen. For two days on the trip, passengers were cut off from the world with both incoming and outgoing radio messages banned.
1964 — 50 years ago: Police reported five youths have been involved in the theft of about seven cars in recent weeks. Three of the youths were arrested Saturday afternoon, one was in custody as the result of a previous arrest, and the fifth is expected to be arrested today.
1989 — 25 years ago: The Rock Island/Milan School Board is asking the city to tear down Franklin School and allow the school district to pay back the estimated $100,00 cost during 10 years.






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