Waterfront Deli and State Street go together like a great meal. That explains the long lunch line on Friday.
“We had to have a sandwich on the last day,” said Mary Craig, Coal Valley.
The deli is serving its final lunch rush there. After 33 years on State Street, the business is relocating in order for street expansions with the new Interstate 74 bridge.
“The staff is very nice, and the quality of the food is very high,” added customer Devin Kirby-Hansen.
That explains around-the-clock work not far away at 1813 Kimberly Road. The crew from Ryder Construction is wrapping up a six-week makeover. It’s a top to bottom renovation to create a new Waterfront Deli near Duck Creek Plaza.
“It’s all been redone,” said contractor Scott Ryder. “We reframed out all the interior walls. We installed insulation, replaced every bit of flooring.”
While change can be painful for a landmark business, the transition will be very quick to its new location.
As the lunch crew works on Friday lunch orders, they’ll be ready to start at 10 a.m., Tuesday, at their new deli.
There’s a close bond between the customers and the crew.
“I hope they like the time, money and effort that we’ve put into the new building,” said owner Nicole Brandt.
While the change will be a new beginning, it will also feature the same menu favorites and smiling faces.
“We’re brightening it up,” Brandt said, while making a sandwich. “It’s going to be more inviting. It is definitely time for a change.”
Waterfront Deli joins about 40 other businesses leaving current locations for the massive construction project.
Street construction should begin in 2015. The five-year project to build the bridge is expected to start in 2018.
“This is a wonderful story that’s happening at Waterfront Deli,” said Steve Van Dyke, Bettendorf’s economic development director.
Waterfront Deli used buyout money from IDOT to develop its new location. The city is looking at contributing money to help with facade improvements at the site.
The deli will auction off items at 1020 State Street, Monday evening at 6, in preparation for the big move.
That familiar feeling won’t go away, even if customers and staff feel a bit nostalgic on Friday.
“It’s sort of like coming home and having your mom make you a sandwich,” Craig concluded.
In this case, a sandwich in a new home for Waterfront Deli.