A nearly five-year wait finally ends at 5 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, when a new Kwik Star convenience store opens for business in LeClaire.
The long road to serving up that first coffee and donut began in March 2018 when the city council cleared the way for the new gas-and-grocery outlet by rezoning 3.3 acres of land from residential to commercial use — at the intersection of South Cody Road (Highway 67) and Eagle Ridge Road.
A month later in April 2018, a group of neighboring property owners banded together to sue the city in an attempt to prevent the rezoning at the southernmost gateway into town.
The legal fight finally ended in the Iowa appellate court last year to allow for construction to start in May 2022. A hoped-for mid-October opening was pushed back a few weeks by supply-chain related construction delays, according to the company.
The LeClaire location is the 14th Kwik Star in the Iowa Quad Cities. The first local store opened in 2014.
The store’s official grand opening celebration is Wednesday, Nov. 16, from 12:30-2:30 p.m. A ribbon-cutting ceremony with city officials is at 1:30 p.m.
Located at 1201 Eagle Ridge Rd., the LeClaire store is one of three Kwik Stars opening Thursday in the Midwest. The other openings are in Pleasant Hill, Iowa, and Spooner, Wisconsin, and bring the growing Midwest chain’s number of stores to 838.
Four other locations opened in October with one each in Iowa and Michigan and two more in Wisconsin.
The LeClaire store is built to be similar to the other local sites — offering gas, groceries, hot food, baked goods, and other convenience options. The only difference is there is no car wash, according to the company, because the store is tucked into a tight location between properties on the Eagle Ridge Road hillside.
Known as Kwik Star in Iowa, the chain is owned by Kwik Trip, Inc., which is headquartered in LaCrosse, Wis., and operates stores in Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan.
Besides attracting traffic off nearby Interstate-80, LeClaire officials expect the new Kwik Star will draw residents from across the river in Port Byron and Rapids City, Illinois, as well as upriver in communities such as Princeton, Iowa.
Without a full-service grocery store since Slagle’s closed in 2019, LeClaire is poised to add two grocers now within a short walk from each other in less than a year.
A new Fareway grocery store is planning to remodel the former Slagle Foods and open during the summer of 2023 just up the hill on Eagle Ridge Road from the new Kwik Star.