MOLINE -- Residential growth in downtown Moline, combined with several projects planned and underway, has sparked even more business.
A new restaurant, Brix, is scheduled to open in mid-April or early May at 425 15th St., the former location of the bar Wide Open. The restaurant will offer pastas, salads, baked sandwiches, appetizers and nontraditional specialty pizzas baked in a brick oven.
Mike DeWitte, owner of the Barrel House in Davenport and Moline, and Mark VanSeveren, are the owners of Brix. Mr. DeWitte said exterior improvements began in mid-December and are almost complete. Work has included new brick and a copper-like covering on areas of the facade. New awnings and a sign will be installed.
The interior renovation began Feb. 1. Historical elements -- such as an ornate ceiling, pillars and a brick wall -- were retained and additional brick walls will be uncovered and exposed, Mr. DeWitte said. A new bar also is under construction, as well as a display kitchen with a brick pizza oven visible to people walking past windows on 15th Street that have been uncovered and replaced.
The display kitchen also is accessible from a door on 15th Street that let customers stop in and buy pizza by the slice until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, Mr. DeWitte said.
Brix also will offer a high-end list of wines and 20 draft beers on tap, many of them locally-brewed. The restaurant will seat about 120 customers and employ 40 to 50 people.
Mr. DeWitte said he created the name and concept for Brix years ago.
"I always had this concept ready; I didn't know if or when it would happen," he said. When the building owner told him the space was available, Mr. DeWitte said he saw how well the concept would fit the space and thought, "Why not?"
Mr. DeWitte said he believed there was room for more restaurants in downtown Moline, which has a large and growing residential population. The iwireless Center, the growing Western Illinois University Riverfront Campus and the proposed Amtrak station and extended stay hotel will continue to bring more people downtown, Mr. DeWitte said.
"As long as we maintain good service and quality food, we will be a staple in downtown Moline," Mr. DeWitte said.
Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital. 1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post . 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.