A fresh look is coming to a historic staple in Downtown East Moline. The Old Palace Tavern is now reopening under new ownership and a new name, after closing last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The century-old bar and restaurant is returning as The Palace Tavern. Larry Anderson bought the property and it is currently under construction.
There will be some changes, like additional space indoors and an area outdoors of seating and a stage for music.
Chris Owens, Sweet Arnie's owner and friend of Anderson, says The Palace Tavern will have a new feel to it.
"I think it'll be a little more upscale," Owens says. "This won't be a dive bar per se, by no means. (It'll be) a little more upscale to have a nice dinner or cocktail if you'd like."
But the vintage bar, floor and ceiling that long-time customers remember will stay intact.
"There's photos of this bar from the early 1900's," Owens says. "This floor has been here for like 100 years (so) those things will stay. They just get made nice again. Kind of like taking The Palace back and making it new again."
Owens says bringing back the Palace Tavern is part of a larger plan to revitalize the Downtown East Moline and Rust Belt area, bringing traffic back to support these local businesses. He says there's talk among local business owners to include a shuttle between the two locations when concerts and events can safely happen again.
The owner hopes to welcome customers back to The Palace Tavern in early June 2021.