BUSINESS NOTEBOOK: Downtown restaurant, night club close; career workshops offered at JWCC

Jeff Fitzsimmons, co-owner of Fitz's on 4th, sets a table for a party of 10 in this December 2014 file photo. The restaurant at 129 S. Fourth closed on Saturday. | H-W File Photo/Phil Carlson
Posted: Jun. 12, 2015 11:33 am Updated: Jul. 3, 2015 12:10 pm

Senior Writer | 217-221-3372 | @DougWilsonWHIG

Vickie and Jeff Fitzsimmons will close their restaurant at 129 S. Fourth on Saturday, June 13, but they hope someone will buy the building and contents where they operated Fitz's on Fourth.

"We really enjoyed our time downtown, and it's been a very difficult decision to walk away from this. We had set this goal of retiring when we reached a certain point, that's all," Vickie Fitzsimmons said.

The couple came to Quincy from Wisconsin to be closer to Vickie's family. They launched the restaurant five-and-a-half-years ago and have steadily built clientele.

Buildings to the north and south of the restaurant had major fires in recent years. The first destroyed the Newcomb Hotel, across the alley to the north in September 2013. Another caused major damage to the Hotel Elkton last year just to the south.

Even with the trauma of those fires, Vickie Fitzsimmons said running the business has been enjoyable.

"We've been in a great area downtown, and we've seen positive changes in the last five years, with more and more people," she said.

The building and contents are listed with Happel Realtors, and several showings already have been conducted.

Darkened nightclub

Phoenix Night Club, 625 Maine, closed in May after seven years of operation.

Owner Steve Homan said he had "four-and-a-half awesome years" before crowds started to taper off. It was not unusual during earlier years for Phoenix to serve 400 to 700 people on a Saturday. Friday nights at that time might draw 100 to 150 customers.

"Now I don't think there are 300 people going out on Saturdays between all the nightclubs," Homan said.

"I ran Backwaters for six years before I opened up my own place. I've been in the business 16 years, and I've seen it at its worst and I've seen it at its best."

Central State Bank owns the building at 625 Maine. The bank got the property when the Maine Street Tap went bankrupt in 2007.

Career workshops

John Wood Community College will offer two career workshops this month. Both workshops are complimentary and will be open to students and the community.

A resume-building workshop will be from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 16. Staff from JWCC Career Services will be on hand to assist anyone needing one-on-one time to write, revise or edit a resume. A second presentation on interviewing tips will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. June 22. Participants will have an opportunity to take part in a mock interview.

Both workshops will be in Room D129 of JWCC's Heath Center on the 48th and Harrison campus in Quincy. No registration is necessary to attend either workshop.

For more information, contact Kathleen Rodgers, JWCC employment readiness coordinator, at 217-641-4152 or

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