Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Taco Bell, Nice Restaurants, Libraries

What do those 3 things have in common? Nothing really, but I have something to say about each of them.

As a third shifter, I frequently find myself awake at odd hours on weekends. If you have to go to Wal Mart, 3AM on a Sunday night is definitely the least bad time to go. I've found that Davenport has a decent amount of places to get some fast food late at night, at least for a non-college town. Actually more stuff is open here than where I went to college... But anyway, one of my frequent favorites late at night is the Taco Bell on West Locust (Open until 5am every day). It seems to be a favorite of nearly everyone awake at those hours, and I'd imagine that they get a lot of the post-bar crowds. This past Saturday around 3am there were around a dozen cars in the drive-through, and I saw at least another dozen turn away when they saw the line of cars. It definitely seems to me that either A. one of our existing Taco Bells should stay open this late, or B. We could use another Taco Bell. The closing of the Duck Creek Plaza location probably didn't help that.

Everyone will jump on me for advocating a national fast food chain, but so be it. I think we're ready for a Taco Bell (or a similar mom & pop local rendition) in downtown Davenport. Chipotle would work too. It could serve the downtown workers for lunch, the new downtown residents for supper, and the bar crowds of both Davenport and Rock Island for late night (4th Meal, as they call it). Downtown Davenport has no Mexican or TexMex food options that I know of, and while there obviously couldn't be a drive-through, its probably better for the post-bar crowd not to be driving anyway. My suggestion is for the under-renovation One Putnam Centre's Parker Building.


I was looking for a nice place to go out to eat Sunday night, and even resorted to flipping through the phone book. Now, my definition of nice is somewhere that I don't feel comfortable in jeans. Centro fit that definition, despite their claims to the contrary. I realized that Davenport has very few "nice" places to eat. Duck City is too nice for me, by the way. I came up with this QC list: Steventons, Farraddays, Red Crow Grille, the Faithful Pilot, Bass Street Chop House, Le Figaro, and MAYBE Biaggi's, The Lodge, Johnny's Italian Steakhouse (haven't been) and The Brown Bottle. We ended up going to The Brown Bottle, which was the first time for me. I was pleased with the experience, although as we were walking in a young woman came out wearing jeans! I'm sure I'm forgetting some places around the QC, as this isn't my usual dinner category. I'd say I'm more the jeans type than the fancy type, but apparently so are most of us. Centro, 225 at the Figge, High Notes, Savitri's, and others make up the beginning of an unfortunately long list of "nice places" that have closed in the last 8 years or so. I didn't make it to Portabella's before it closed to even find out how nice it was. It seems like we enjoy having nice options, but don't patronize them enough for many to survive.

And finally, the library story.
Despite being accused of going along with everything, which I don't, I'm not in favor of this "fast-tracking" of the new library before the money is even pledged by donors. I would at least expect the developers out there, including Mr. Schalk, (who is involved in the sprawl neighborhood across Eastern from Prairie Heights) to come to the table with hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to ante up for the library. After all, they apparently need it as an amenity for their subdivision. I would that think their declining the city's suggestion to build their development as a traditional neighborhood should NOT make the city want to jump at spending money to enable their success.

As for the Prairie Heights subdivision itself, I think that rather than hoping the city builds a library sooner, a good way for Ruhl & Ruhl to market the project is for them to try marketing the project. Every Sunday I read the real estate section and look for any mention of the first attempts at a New Urbanist neighborhood in the Quad Cities. Every Sunday I see ads for dozens of sprawling, bland, typical subdivisions full of new construction, with no mention of the upcoming Prairie Heights neighborhood. What are they waiting for? In their defense, they do have a tiny page for it on their website, and I have heard that model homes are planned for the Spring. I'm no Realtor or marketing specialist, but it sure seems like they'd want to build some hype for this potentially trend-setting project. Instead the top 3 results for a Google search for Prairie Heights Davenport are the QCTimes, the City of Davenport, and this blog. Where's the website bragging of the benefits of a traditional neighborhood?


Considering the wide-ranging topics of my 3 sections, feel free to use this post as an open thread.

19 Comments:

At 2/19/2008 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red Crow Grille is closed? I had reservations there three weeks ago but had to cancel because of a snowstorm.

 
At 2/19/2008 4:20 PM, Blogger Doug Wagner said...

Panchero's would be a good fit too.

I remember when it was the only place you could stagger around downtown Iowa City after hours to get something to soak up all the alcohol.

Now, they've upscaled a bit...but it would be a fine place.

 
At 2/19/2008 5:26 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Ok, it appears I'm wrong on Red Crow. I thought I read somewhere that it was closing, but now I can't find any record of that. I'll remove it from the list of closed places and add it to the list of open places.

Although.... I have heard that its not so great anyway.

 
At 2/19/2008 6:09 PM, Blogger pioneer98 said...

I agree that Prairie Heights should be marketed better, but doesn't that go for almost everything in this area?

"Bragging the benefits of a traditional neighborhood"? Hmmm, let's see, which other neighborhoods might benefit from that besides Prairie Hieghts?

 
At 2/19/2008 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prairie Heights does have a website.
http://prairieheightsqc.com/index.htm
Actually give some good information and shows the types of homes going to be built.

 
At 2/19/2008 6:40 PM, Blogger iahawk said...

Prairie Heights does have a website.
http://prairieheightsqc.com/index.htm
Actually give some good information and shows the types of homes going to be built.

 
At 2/19/2008 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnny's is one of my favorite restaurants, a must try for you....but you CAN wear jeans there ;-) Great atmosphere, almost like someplace you'd find in Chicago.

p.s. Portabella's closed?!

 
At 2/19/2008 9:08 PM, Blogger Matt said...

i wasn't that crazy about portabello's, although my wife really enjoyed it. i ordered that huge pork shank on the bone once, with mashed potatoes, all supposedly covered in a caramelized onion sauce, and i swear they actually brought out the meat, potatoes, and the *ice cream caramel topping*. it was quite bad. i do, however, miss Centro a lot. dang.

 
At 2/20/2008 7:34 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Portabella's is supposed to reopen in Rock Island somewhere. Supposedly they just had issues with their landlord in Moline.

 
At 2/20/2008 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frm theweb site http://prairieheightsqc.com/library.htm

"Public Library is scheduled to be constructed with this community. Modeled after the Freemont Street Library..."

FREEMONT Street ?? Who writes this stuff??

 
At 2/20/2008 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: your comments on Red Crow Grille. We have rescheduled our visit, and one of my dinner companions is a chef, so I'll let you know our (especially his) opinion.

 
At 2/20/2008 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red Crow=over priced swill. What a rip!

 
At 2/20/2008 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Red Crow is an great place to dine. They also have a wonderful wine list.

 
At 2/20/2008 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did this city get in the business of building ammenties for Mr. Schalk? While I look forward to a new library, I think we need to take our lead from the library board, not Mr. Schalk, unless he wants to kick in a substiantial amount of money.

 
At 2/20/2008 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like a long time ago - where have you been? Shawlk is a long time development attorney and land owner who greases the balms of the elected officials by way of campaign donations.

 
At 2/20/2008 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been awhile, but Steventons in LeClaire was a great place enjoy some quite time with the main squeeze.

 
At 2/24/2008 11:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woodfire Grill will be opening soon, replacing Centro downtown.

 
At 5/31/2008 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chipotle would be a great addition to just the Quad Cities in general. After eating there in Iowa City I've had a hard time ever eating at Taco Bell afterwards. It'd be nice to be able to get a semi-legitimate fast-food burrito without having to drive an hour in any direction.

 
At 8/16/2009 3:05 AM, Blogger Ryan said...

For a "non college town"... What are you KIDDING???? Have you BEEN to the quad cities?????

 

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