Millennium Bar & Grill reopens after flooding

Millennium Bar & Marina in East Dubuque, Ill., surrounded by floodwater from the Mississippi River in mid-June. 

EAST DUBUQUE, Ill. — After months of flooding that left an East Dubuque business high and (not so) dry, some community members are throwing a fundraiser to help keep the company afloat.

A fundraiser for Millennium Bar & Marina is set for 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at the Asbury Eagles Club in Asbury, Iowa. All funds will help repair flood damage at the East Dubuque business.

The restaurant, located along the Mississippi River on Harbor Drive, has been closed since late March, after flooding left the marina’s parking lot and first floor underwater.

Owner Samantha Trentz said the flooding has severely cut into profits, hurt the business’ workforce and added expenses due to property damage.

“It’s been very challenging for us,” Trentz said. “My biggest worry at this point is that people are going to forget about us.”

Money raised during the fundraiser will go toward repairing the 14-acre property, as well as purchasing new supplies, doors and windows.

Trentz said extensive work will need to be done to repair the parking lot, which largely has been reduced to mud.

Daniel Moore, secretary for the Asbury Eagles Club, suggested the fundraiser to Trentz. He said helping the struggling business fit with the objective of his organization.

“Our motto is, ‘People helping people,’” Moore said. “I thought this really fit well with the objective of the Eagles Club.”

The fundraiser will feature food prepared and served at Millennium Bar & Marina. For Trentz, the Eagles Club is simply giving them a venue at which she can finally open her business in some capacity.

“They have been really generous to give us this night,” Trentz said. “We’re just really happy to be selling some food again.”

The Eagles Club has not been the only organization or individual to offer a hand. Trentz said others from throughout the community have offered help and support.

“The amount of community that has reached out has been really encouraging,” Trentz said. “People have been messaging me non-stop saying that they can help clean up.”

Moore said numerous others have volunteered to help with the fundraiser, including a local band that has offered to play for free.

“I was in complete shock,” Moore said. “We didn’t realize how big this event would be and how many people wanted to help out.”

Trentz said she hopes to open by June 21. National Weather Service river level projections suggest the river will drop below 15 feet by June 16.

Even after river levels recede, Trentz said, work will need to be done to repair the parking lot and building.

A water main break in the neighborhood that cannot be repaired until river levels fall threatened to further delay the opening. Trentz said a temporary alternative water source has been developed, however, to allow the business to open before the water main is fixed.

Even with all her plans in place, Trentz is wary of the reopening. All it takes is another notable rainfall to put her and her business in the same place it was months ago.

“It’s something that we can’t say definitively,” Trentz said. “We’re hoping for June 21, but that all depends on the mighty Mississippi.”

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