A second Dickey's Barbecue Pit restaurant in the Quad-Cities has closed in recent weeks.
A Dickey's that opened in November at 4018 Blackhawk Road in Rock Island's Rock Valley Plaza closed in April.
And now the first Quad-Cities Dickey's — at 4706 Utica Ridge Road, Davenport — has closed. In both cases, the closings were because they were "underperforming stores."
"The Davenport site was leased, and we chose to not renew the license agreement. It was not a good location for us," said Jami Zimmerman, director of public relations for the Dallas-based company that boasts 422 stores nationwide. "The Rock Island store also was an underperforming location, so we chose to close it. Rock Island didn't have a good start, and Davenport started OK but later did not.
"We are always looking for the right owner/operator and always looking for the right locations. We feel Texas barbecue would go over great there, but we probably have not found the right location yet."
The Davenport location opened in October 2008 in the former San Francisco Oven restaurant, which had opened in 2005.
The original Dickey's opened in Dallas in 1941. According to the company's website, Dickey's offers a variety of meat dishes and sandwiches, including sweet pork ribs, Southern pulled pork, Polish sausage, barbecue brisket, smoked turkey and chicken, side dishes, free kids' meals on Sundays and free ice cream for those who dine in.
Franchise owner Bradley Emmert and business partner Mark Shaecher had owned the Davenport and Rock Island stores. They could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
A store on Avenue of the Cities in Moline is owned by another franchisee, Bill Jensen, and it remains open.
When the Rock Island store closed, a store official at the Davenport location said the Rock Island store was scheduled to reopen in early May with new owners. Jensen said Wednesday, however, that he was told new owners for both of those stores could not be found quickly enough, so both will remain closed. Zimmerman said there are no plans to reopen either site.
Meanwhile, Jensen said he is fighting to keep his store separate from the closed restaurants in customers' minds.
"They opened Davenport in 2008," he said. "Then I came in and bought into that franchise. I opened Moline and then bought Moline from my partner."
He said he later helped take over the Davenport store for a time but dropped out and stuck with the Moline franchise.
"We are sad to see it close, but my wife and I put in a lot of hard work and now we are doing better with those stores closing, and our catering business has literally doubled," he said.