Happy Joe's is moving into familiar digs to create a new venture.

Kristel Ersan, marketing director and one of the owners of Happy Joe's Pizza & Ice Cream, said Happy Joe's PizzaGrille, 1616 W. Locust St., Davenport, will open in the former Chef's Hat restaurant location. Happy Joe's then will close its longtime store at 1414 W. Locust St.

Ersan, Happy Joe Whitty's daughter, said she believes the location on Locust was one of the five original Happy Joe's sites.

But the concept for the new store will be different from most Happy Joe's restaurants. In fact, according to the company, it is being labeled "Not your average Joe's."

"It will be Happy Joe's, plus more," Ersan said. "I think it will offer that part of town something unique."

New to the store will be an expanded menu with grill items including hamburgers and chicken wings, and 18 beers on tap. There also will be an expanded buffet, a drive-up window, additional parking at the new site, a party room, 23 TVs and full-table service.

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An opening date has not been scheduled. Interior and exterior work needs to be completed.

Ersan said the company first experimented with a bar-and-grill concept at its restaurant in Maquoketa a few years ago. That idea later was expanded in Eldridge.

Happy Joe's purchased Lancers Bar and Grille in Eldridge. Ersan said it was connected to its Happy Joe's location there. The Happy Joe's was renovated, and Lancers was remodeled and renamed Grille 350, offering an expanded buffet and entrees in a different atmosphere than other Happy Joe's.

She said that experienced has helped them remodel the former Chef's Hat location.

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