Businesses along Davenport’s River Drive eager to get back to business

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Davenport crews re-opened River Drive from Tremont Avenue to Bettendorf city limits -- increasing the traffic for local businesses.

In her first year as owner, Shelly Ellis says she's already dealt with her fair share of roadblocks.

"(We) literally got barricaded from all business," Ellis said. "It was virtually impossible to get here."

Ellis' shop, Java Java Cafe, was surrounded by flood waters. Still, with the help of a little humor and good spirits, Ellis and her co-owner chose to stay open for business through it all.

"Its been... really slow," Ellis said. "It's actually a really disheartening feeling. We probably would have been better off just closing our doors and waiting that two months."

Ellis estimates the business lost nearly $10-$12,000 a month. But instead of waiting it out, employees at Java Java worked through the floods.

"We just had to suck it up and be here for the few people that would come," Ellis said "We don't want to disappoint anybody. And our employees definitely needed a paycheck so we just made it work."

A few feet away, Isable Bloom has also been down on sales.

"It's a struggle. River Drive is a huge access point," said Brett Barrett, Co-owner of Isabel Bloom. He said he is thankful the road re-opened in time for their busiest season - tour season.

"We had a tour bus today and again even getting the tour buses here prior to today was almost impossible," Barrett said.

A major avenue, now hopefully bringing a flood of customers.

"We figure if we can make it through this first year we're going to be okay," Ellis joked.

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