After two years of negotiations, the owners of Ross’ diner and the Iowa Department of Transportation this week reached a deal to sell the land and help make way for a new I-74 bridge. The deal could end up moving the long-standing Quad City staple across the river for good.
Bettendorf has been the home of Ross’ Restaurant for 75 years, nearly 50 of which were at the base of the 74 bridge.
“There’s so much tradition and history here and it’s fun to come to a place that’s clearly marked on the walls with all the people that have stepped foot in here,” said customer Callie Pangburn.
However, their time together will soon come to an end. It will be torn down to make room for the I-74 bridge project, forcing owners to find a new home. Owners signed an agreement with the Iowa DOT, giving owners the deadline of August 1, 2015 to be moved out of the building.
“It definitely opens up some possibilities that we hadn’t considered before,” said owner, Melissa Freidholf-Rodgers, Ross’ general manager.
Those possibilities include two sites in Davenport and for the first time ever, looking across the river at a site in Moline. Freidholf-Rodgers couldn’t say exactly where at in Davenport and Moline, but all sites would be about mile and half from it’s current location.
With a new location comes a new look. Their new building design is modern, but will have the same menu and same traditions.
“It retains a lot of elements that retain homeliness, it feels like home,” said Freidholf-Rodgers.
No matter where they decide to go, they’re sure their loyal customers will follow.
Owners expect to announce their new location by June 2014. They plan to have it open within a week of closing the current one in August 2015.