83-year-old bartends for the last time

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By early next year, several businesses in Bettendorf will be moved because of the Interstate 74 bridge expansion.

One business that won’t move, but instead shut its doors forever on Monday, is the Tiddley Tap.

Friday, was the last night for one very special bartender.

If you walk into Tiddley Tap on a Friday night, you may be surprised when you see the 83-year-old woman behind the bar.

“What can I get yas?” said Ann Schroeder.

But Ann Schroeder is more than just a bartender.

“I’ve heard you have a little problem,” she says to a customer.

She is the bar.

“This is her place everybody knows it,” said Cami Torres, a bartender at the Tiddley Tap since 1993.

Annie, as they call her, has owned the bar for nearly thirty years.

“I have a lot of good memories. They would have tumbled over. There have been some happy things that have happened here and there`s been some sad things that have happened here,” said Schroeder.

“I know everybody up here and you feel at home. I love it,” said Pat Laske, a customer for 24 years.

Schroeder credits her bartenders.

“This bar would not be anything if it wasn’t for the bartenders I had,” she said.

And thanks the loyal customers, many who say they come just for her.

“I think that`s a real compliment and it`s only because they`ve known me for years. You want to go see the Empire State building? Why? It`s because it`s been there a long time.  Well I`ve been here a long time, so I’m like the Empire State Building,” said Schroeder.

But Friday night, will be the last time she serves them. On Monday, the bar will close its doors forever to make way for the Interstate 74 bridge project.

“Put it this way, they need a bridge, I`m part of a bottom of it. A lot of us would love to see everything stay as it is but progress doesn`t allow us to do that so you can’t do much about it,” said Schroeder.

The customers are not as accepting.

“To watch it go down and be a bridge, doesn`t do it for you,” said Laske.

They are not ready to say goodbye to the Tiddley Tap or their Annie.

“I think I`ll sit and have a few totties to say farewell.  I really well,” said Torres.

The bar is having a going away party on Sunday at 1 p.m. Schroeder has possession of the bar until the middle of September and plans to have an auction in Late August.