Great River Brewery set to re-open in January 2024

After being forced to shut down due to the 2019 flood, Great River Brewery is planning to reopen in 2024.
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 3:21 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2023 at 6:39 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa {KWQC} – After being forced to shut down due to the 2019 flood, Great River Brewery is planning to reopen in 2024.

Before moving to Davenport, Great River Brewery originated from Iowa City. On the corner of 2nd St. and Iowa St. in Davenport, owners say business was booming between Great River Brewery and Streets of Italy pizza. Both operated by Scott Florence.

On April 30, 2019, the Mississippi River crested at 22.7 feet, causing the waters to bust through the sand filled HESCO barriers. The water broke through the windows and began to flood the establishment.

“It was beautiful day, we sold out all of our pizza,” said Florence. “I thought this is going to be a great project, the day of the flood, it was flooded in 15 minutes, you know, the waters just rushed right in. And we were everybody was out of business.”

Plumbing and sewer systems were completely backed up and the patio was flooded. Flood water filled the brewery, forcing it to close.

Great River Brewery is in a neighborhood known as Motor Row on 2nd St. Local neighboring businesses are excited to see that their neighbor will be back up and running, soon.

“I’m just excited to see that something’s actually happening with the building because it’s been sitting there empty for what you said four years,” said Bootleg Hill’s Founder and President, Rick Harris. “That’s a long time.”

Downtown Davenport Partnership Executive Director, Kyle Carter, says that the re-addition of Great River Brewery is the missing puzzle piece to the iconic area.

“It is kind of the missing piece there on the corner,” said Carter. “So, when the movie theater opens up across the street, we’ll have Great River back in action here shortly in January. And then when you look at the totality of what’s happened in the last five years, it’s really incredible.”

Since the flood, Co-Owner of Racoon Motel, John McDermott says having Great River Brewery back, is the final business to return since the 2019 flood.

“The neighborhoods had a lot of growth since the flood,” said McDermott. “And now with the addition of the kind of the Motor Row Co Op of us down here, it really kind of shapes out one of the last pieces of the neighborhood that hadn’t recovered since the flood.”

During these past 4 years, it was always a goal for Florence to reopen Great River Brewery.

“Here, everything had to be gutted and redone,” said Florence. “So, it just took a lot longer and to put our team together to finally get back open, it’s just these things take time.”

According to the Downtown Davenport Partnership, the 2019 flood caused more than $30 million worth of revenue and lost wages.

More standing room, and different features are expected when Great River Brewery reopens. They will have additions to their menu and more space to host guests. Florence and his team hopes to be open by New Year’s Day, 2024.