Despite Flooding, Davenport is Open for Business

Signs indicate Pershing is closed, but open to business traffic

Front Street Brewery’s signature beer is called Raging River Ale.

The name is hitting a little close to home for the long-time Davenport business, which boasts two riverfront locations – one between Pershing and Perry streets on River Drive and the other in the riverfront Freight House building.

The muddy Mississippi may be knocking at the front door, but manager Jenny Ash says both locations are open and serving.

“It was a little slow at lunch today, probably because parking is hard to find,” she said. “But this flood is typical and manageable.”

Ash has worked at Front Street for 22 years and has been through seven major floods. Improvements in the city’s flood protection plan over the years have made them much easier to deal with than the deluge in 1993 that knocked the brewery out of business for an extended period.

“When we see the Hesco barriers going in, it’s very reassuring to us,” she said, as several patrons stepped in to order lunch and gawk at the rising waters just outside the large picture window out front.

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Downstream a bit, Ed Kraklio Jr. of Nostalgia Farms Deli said the lunch rush today was more like a trickle. Too many people don’t realize that despite River Drive being closed, you can still access businesses south of the road. Still, he’s pleased with the flood protection measures in place.

“We’re still prepping and getting ready for the weekend,” he said. “Although we will be closed on the 4th because they cancelled Red, White and Boom.”

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Michelle Magyar, one of the co-owners of Mid-American Glass on River Drive, said they are coping with this flood much better than the last major flood in 2011.

A recent $5 million expansion, with a new building on their site, allows them to ship out a new dock to the north, meaning they no longer need access from River Drive.

“We are an island, but it’s business as usual although it’s hectic,” she said. “The city helped us put this new building in and we can now get in without going through the water.”

Any business owner that needs assistance with flood fighting should contact Public Works at (563) 326-7923.

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