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.
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 2013. There are 27 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Within a few weeks the Rock Island Barracks will contain more than 10,000 rebel prisoners, a guard of about 1,500 and a large number of officers. This should bring business to our city. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Corn was selling at 25 cents per bushel in Rock Island county, and the average price of wheat was 80 cents per bushel. 1913 -- 100 years ago: R.G. Hudson and R.H. Dart were elected wardens at Trinity Episcopal Church. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Smiling, baldish, 30-year-old Jimmy Roosevelt reported for work today as movie maker Sam Goldwyn's new hired hand. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Members of the East Moline City Council last night unanimously voted approval of the name of John F. Kennedy Drive for the improved sections of 3rd and 4th streets between 17th Avenue and the south city limits. 1988 -- 25 years ago: A $70,000 fundraising drive is underway to establish a Big Brother/Big Sisters program in the Quad-Cities. Organizers hope to raise funds to begin the nationally affiliated program by March 1.