MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) – The Quad City Mallards opened their season at home against the Fort Wayne Komets. As the Mallards celebrate two decades in the QCA, bars and restaurants are celebrating flowing taps and busy kitchens.
“More people will be down here,” said Moline Barrel House Manager Ashley Ray. “They have a lot of specials at the Marc, so people come in here afterwards maybe have some appetizers or just some drinks.”
Since opening three years ago, Ray said the restaurant and bar has enjoyed overflow from Mallards games.
“It’s within walking distance, maybe a block and a half away,” Ray said. “It brings people that wouldn’t necessarily know about or know to come here that will bring them down in the area.”
But that wasn’t always the case. For several years there was uncertainty surrounding the hockey team.
“I think when you look back to about four or five years ago there was always a question every summer whether the team would still be here,” said Mallards President Bob McNamara.
Now, he said, the team is stable, and fans are making a comeback too.
“I think the people have started to come back,” McNamara said. “We’ve, you know, the brand I think is built back up again.”
New bars like Rebellion Brew Haus are looking forward to some of those fans discovering their place.
“We are really excited,” said Kaitlin Forbes, the bar manager, about the Mallards season. “I know that Bad Boyz gets really busy, so I’m hoping that there will be overflow over here.”
Forbes said Rebellion opened in January and business has been good so far.
But she hopes advertising at Mallards games and late night food options encourage more people to stop in.
“On the weekdays we serve food until midnight and then on the weekends 1 a.m.,” Forbes said. “I feel like people are starting to catch on to how awesome Rebellion is, so I think that we’ll have a pretty good night.”
The Mallards lost their first game tonight 6 to 2. The team’s next home game will be in two weeks on Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m.