15 Sep LET’S GRAB A DRINK
By Tracy Jacks
Downtown watering hole leaves the gimmicks and laser light shows behind.
A night out in downtown Rock Island offers a multitude of options. There’s live theatre, improvisational comedy, microbrews, and thumping dance clubs to name a few. But sometimes you really DO want to go where everybody knows your name.
For eight years, M.D. Green’s has stood vigil along the 2nd Avenue plaza, offering patrons what’s often needed: cold drinks and warm smiles. There’s no fancy gimmicks or laser light shows at M.D. Green’s, and that suits current owner Bruce Harrell just fine. “M.D. Green’s is a neighborhood bar,” Harrell says.
“We’re a good solid place to hang out with your friends, have some drinks, throw some darts, and listen to the jukebox.” Harrell was searching for a business to buy in order to work for himself, and purchased the bar last year from original owner Duane Green.
“I always liked the idea of owning and running a bar,” he says. “Who wouldn’t want to have a job that consists of hanging out and making sure everyone’s having a good time? It’s a dream that almost didn’t happen. In 2014, before Harrell owned the bar, the back half of M.D. Green’s was heavily damaged in the fire that leveled the nearby former site of the Mississippi Cafe.
“Most of the damage was to the back barroom,” Harrell recalls. “There was some smoke that got in the front bar and the health department required all the liquor be thrown out. The back bar was closed for around six months while the repairs were made.”
“I’ve had multiple people tell me they can’t believe there was ever a fire, because it looks exactly the same as it always did.”
With a reputation for friendly faces and fair prices, M.D. Green’s attracts both newbies and regulars alike. “We have lots of regulars,” explains Harrell. “I look forward to catching up with them when they come in. Of course, we love to see new faces and I hope they’ll keep coming back and become regulars themselves.”
One thing that keeps customers returning to M.D. Green’s is their legendary karaoke night, every Saturday from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. “I always thought karaoke was just about the person singing,” says Harrell. “But we have people that show up every Saturday and NEVER sing. They just like to hear the other customers perform.”
The vibe of a live music venue depends entirely on which band is booked on any given night, just as every dance club’s atmosphere can vary based on which DJ is on the decks. With so many variables, it’s nice to know that M.D. Green’s is there without fail, a glass and a barstool at the ready.
“We’re not a sports bar, but we usually have sports on one of the TVs,” says Harrell. “We’re not a restaurant, but the Food Network is always on. We aren’t a live music club or a dance bar. We’re a neighborhood bar. Our neighborhood just happens to be the downtown”
M.D. Green’s is located at 1808 2nd Ave. They’re open every Wednesday through Saturday from 8 p.m.- 3 a.m Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/MD-Greens.
A Drink for the Undecided
- 1 part Citrus Vodka
- 1 part Raspberry Vodka
- 1 part Raspberry Liqueur
- 1 part Sweet and Sour
- Splash of 7 up
How to make:
Pour parts in order. Stir and go!