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LAST CALL For Shows at Rock Island’s RIBCO This Weekend

The most iconic live music venue in the Quad-Cities over the past four decades is closing its doors this weekend, likely for the last time.

Rock Island Brewing Company, which has hosted national acts from NRBQ to the Smithereens and more, and provided a stage to countless local and regional acts, is saying goodbye with two shows this weekend, as owner Terry Tilka prepares to retire after the last gig Sunday night.

LAST CALL For Shows at Rock Island's RIBCO This Weekend

The weekend begins with Saturday night’s 8 p.m. show featuring Einstein’s Sister and Friends, an hour of the local power pop band which began its career on the RIBCO stage in 1994, which will open up into an extended jam session and group musical farewell to the influential venue.

LAST CALL For Shows at Rock Island's RIBCO This Weekend

The cover of the new Einstein’s Sister single.

On Sunday night, the final show at RIBCO will be touring act The Queers, and opening band Running Man, again with an 8 p.m. start.
Tilka announced his retirement, and the closure of RIBCO when it shuts its doors the night of December 17, on the venue’s Facebook page, posting the following:
“After 50 years of working in the bar, restaurant, and nightclub business, RIBCO owner Terrence G. Tilka is calling it a career.”
“After plenty of discussions with family, friends, past and present employees, it’s time to call it a career,” Tilka said.
Tilka’s career began as a high school student in Northwest Indiana and the southside of Chicago, working at a liquor store and then a beer distributorship for Anheuser-Busch. After graduating from Bishop Noll in Hammond, Indiana, Tilka arrived at St. Ambrose University in the
Fall of 1974 to pursue a career in criminal justice, with hopes of working for the FBI or government down the road.

LAST CALL For Shows at Rock Island's RIBCO This Weekend

Terry Tilka in his younger days at RIBCO.

Like many college students, Tilka bartended full-time all four years while at St. Ambrose. From there, changed his career path and learned the ins and outs of the industry from multiple owners. “When I told my dad what I was going to do after college he wasn’t too happy,” Tilka
said, “That was until I told him I was naming my first bar O’Meara’s Pub, which was my mom’s maiden name, then he changed his tone a bit.”
In 1978, at 21-years-old, Tilka purchased Glynn’s Tap on State Street in Bettendorf, becoming the youngest licensee in the state of Iowa. From there, Glynn’s Tap was renamed to O’Meara’s Pub, which got it’s name from Tilka’s mother’s maiden name. From there, Tilka opened his second location, Pat McGuire’s, in Davenport with his friend Mike Shouse. From there, Tilka went on to buy Dubuque Street Brewing Company in Iowa City with Dan Carmody and others.

LAST CALL For Shows at Rock Island's RIBCO This Weekend

Terry Tilka is owner of RIBCO and 2nd Ave.

Following that, Tilka later purchased the Rock Island Brewing Company, 2nd Avenue Dance Club, and worked with the Isle of Capri booking talent at their show rooms and Waterside Convention Center.

Tilka was a major factor in the development of the District of Rock Island, helping attract talent to the area and creating special events in the downtown.
Now, after more than 40 years of being in the industry in the QCA, Tilka is ready to retire and spend some more time with his kids, grandchildren, and nine brothers and sisters.

LAST CALL For Shows at Rock Island's RIBCO This Weekend

RIBCO is closing its doors for the last time December 17.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to be a part of this community for over 50 years,” Tilka said, “I’m proud of my children that I’ve raised here in the QC, I’m proud of the work we’ve done, and I’m proud of the music and entertainment we’ve brought to the area. Thank you for all of your support, and last but not least, I want to thank all of the people that I’ve worked with in this community, my employees both past & present…including all three of my children who have all worked for me at some point in their lives.”

“Cheers to you, Quad Cities,” Tilka said.

LAST CALL For Shows at Rock Island's RIBCO This Weekend

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Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.

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