All of us should consider this as reassuring, sentimental news. The Plantation is going to reopen in Moline. Well, it's really Velie's, but for those with gray hair, it is still the Plantation.
Psst! "It is 99.95 percent a done-deal," says David Koenig, an owner of what was one of mid-America's most famous eateries. The place is planned to reopen - with an entirely different char-acter - on Oct. 1.
It will have a new personality, but before getting into that, it should be said that there were no takers for the $1.8 million price tag that had been placed on the blufftop spa.
"We had a number of lookers and an offer. But no real takers," says Koenig. "One unexpected use was for its conversion into a residence again. Rumors were flying. Of course, I'll not tell, but it was not a Quad-City physi-cian from India, as some people have been whispering." The owners, David Koenig and Allan Johnson, were determined to put the building into use again after its closing a few months ago. A giant full-service restaurant, as they had operated the place, was no longer practical. They locked the doors.
"It'll be different now," says Koenig. "The Back Door, our lower level lounge, will become Governor's West, operating as one of our Governor's outlets." There will be some cosmetic changes to match the ambiance (always a chi-chi word to toss around) so the Velie place matches the personality of the two Governor's.
The big switch will be on the main and sec-ond floors.
"We're turning the Plantation, er Velie's, into one of Ameri-ca's spiffiest antique malls," says Koenig. "It will be a new concept, in a setting of grandeur unlike anyplace you've seen. We've researched this antique mall market extensively. The method is quite viable."
Koenig said the major reason was to put the building back into use again.
"It just couldn't sit there. It's too good. If other opportunities become available, we would be able to make arrangements. As to the proposal this week that the building could become a giant cen-ter for the arts? Well, I would say that's out at this moment with our current plans, but I won't foreclose on something like that happening some day. Though, with that many organizations involved, a lot of problems are present."
As to the restaurant's present contents, there will be an auc-tion of the restaurant equipment, and the rest of the goodies that decorated the landmark may be sold when the antique mall opens. So there! That small town flavor
Following up on that clamorous Quad-City visit by Bill Clin-ton: Greg Boll, one of the Quad-City Times photogs who covered the candidate's visit to Burlington, hurried back with his film.
"All along the way, in towns like Mediapolis and Wapello, and in farm drives and in Tastee-Freeze lots, cars were parked. Folks stood outside, or sat on hoods or in the back of pickups, waiting for the big Clinton bus caravan. They'd flash their lights on and off; it reminded me of fireflies in the night." Lucky notes
Don't pick a four-leaf-clover if you want good luck - call Bettendorf Park Board Band. In a sodden summer, not a concert was rained-out. After a week of deluges, the clouds parted for the band to play its season finale, a 25th anniversary concert in twi-light summery sunlight. Other omens of good luck: The band has played gigs for four seasons at Quad-City Thunder games; when-ever they played, the team won. The Thunder has wisely engaged the band for this year's opener. Whenever the band played at O'Donnell Stadium in Davenport, the home team won. The band was called upon to play for the grand opening cruise of The President, but not the Diamond Lady. Well, you know what hap-pened to the Diamond Lady! Absolutely rotten riddle
Q. You say you had a dream that you were a muffler? Well, how do you feel this morning?