Ideas for the future of The Levee Inn

The hot dog stand is known for being submerged in water multiple times

Davenport - Described as Iowa's Front Porch, Davenport officials are working to keep the riverfront vibrant and inviting.

The Riverfront Improvement Commission is in the early stages of discussing what to do with The Levee Inn as they move focus downstream. 

To decide the best fate for the building, the Commission is seeking ideas from the public.

Riverfront Improvement Commission Commissioner Karl Rhomberg said, "No one is starting up a bulldozer or has any plans to do anything at all. The plan is to find out what the citizens of the community wish and to maybe follow their lead."

It's a historic hot dog stand still sitting near the location of the Old Rhythm City Casino. 

For one of its faithful supporters, he is advocating keeping the Levee Inn right where it is, saying the riverfront and city would not be the same without it. 

Bill Wundram said, "It should stay here and be used. It should be another little restaurant. I believe the stoves are still in there; everything is there."

For Wundram, the small little building is filled with a lifetime of memories.

"I was probably about four-years-old, getting an ice cream cone and I've been coming back ever since," Wundram said. 

It's been submerged numerous times by rising flood waters; the high water mark predominantly marked on the side.

For Wundram, if the terror of the Mississippi can't bring the building down than man doesn't stand a chance. 

"The water can rush right through this place. Right through the windows and three weeks later, they're selling hot dogs here," said Wundram.

The stand used to have a hot dog named after Wundram, and it was even suggested he should take over running the Levee Inn.

Commissioner Rhomberg says it could be years before they act on an idea. 

It's part of the work for the 2014 RiverVision plan for the waterfront. 

Commissioner Rhomberg said, "It's the welcome mat for the whole state of Iowa, and we're very excited about tourism, we're very excited about developing the public spaces down here along the riverfront to encourage tourism and to encourage recreation by the people who live here. This is our jewel."

The Levee Inn was included in the RiverVision plan as part of the riverfront. 

To learn more about the plan, moving it forward and selecting design elements, the city will be holding an open house Oct. 26 starting at 4:30 p.m. through 6:30 p.m.

It will take place at the Figge Art Museum. 

To share an idea, residents are suggested to contact their alderman or the Riverfront Improvement Commission at 563-888-2235.


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