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, Oct. 2, the 275th day of 2014. There are 90 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The ladies have adopted the fashion of wearing representations of insects in the flowers on their bonnets. Some look very natural. 1889 -- 125 years ago: T.F. Cary, former Rock Island alderman, has accepted a position as salesman for a Chicago wallpaper house and plans to move to that city. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Work on the new telephone building on 18th Street between 6th and 7th avenues is progressing rapidly. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's new theater at 3rd Avenue and 19th Street will have a name significant of its location. The "Rocket" is scheduled to open Thanksgiving Day. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Two of Rock Island's newest water towers were vandalized last night, including the one at 38th Street and 31st Avenue, where police took five Moline boys into custody about 9 p.m.. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Some of us who live in the Quad-Cities take the Mississippi River for granted, or at least we used to. But the river is not taken for granted by our visitors. And most Quad-Citians are realizing the importance of the river to this area as increased emphasis is placed on tourism.