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 Wednesday, Oct. 1, the 274th day of 2014. There are 91 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: It is rumored in the streets that the 13 negroes sent to Quincy on the Moline quota were refused. We think this must be a mistake.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Harvey McKenna, of Detroit, billiard player matched to play Wizard Schafer in New York in January for the world championship, was a professional friend and manager, Billy Catton in Rock Island.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Levi Cralle, former Rock Island county sheriff, had come from his farm near Mitchell, S.D. to visit friends in the city.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Work is being rushed on the new high school building in Orion to replace the one destroyed by fire last winter. Classes are being held in churches.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Rehearsals for the 84th season of the Handel Oratorio Society chorus will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday on the stage of Centennial Hall, Augustana College.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Rock Island City Council's plan announced this week to have the federal government vacate Valley Homes public housing and move residents to Arsenal Courts to reduce density may not be feasible.






(More History)