Weekly Market Report – December 21, 2023

Dec 21, 2023 | 0 comments

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Restaurant & Retail Updates

The Stuffed Olive has opened at 1140 Capitol Avenue in downtown’s Capitol District. The martini bar also serves elevated appetizers. Along with its sister bar next door – Roxxy – The Stuffed Olive has existing locations in Iowa City and Des Moines, Iowa.

Javier Trujillo, owner of Javi’s Tacos, has opened Time to Rise and Shine Elkhorn, a new breakfast-and-lunch-only restaurant at 2611 North 204th Street.

Nordstrom Rack will open its first Nebraska store in a 30,000 sq. ft., former Bed Bath & Beyond space at 255 North 170th Street in Village Pointe Shopping Center. Opening is planned for fall of 2024.

Bush House, a new local brewery, has leased a 5,669 sq. ft. bay at 6115 Maple Street in Benson, according to Brian Thomas of NAI NP Dodge. The space had been occupied by Infusion Brewery, which will maintain its current locations in La Vista and at The Crescent Moon in the Blackstone District.

Culver’s has opened another restaurant location near 172nd & West Maple Road in the Whispering Ridge subdivision.

Eat the Worm, an Old Market bar and grill that closed in August, is moving into the former location of the Monster Club at 1217 Howard Street, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Eat the Worm serves Mexican food, tequila, beer, wine and cocktails. Opening is planned for January.

Villagio Pizzeria at 6922 North 102nd Circle now serves lunch in addition to dinner. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.

We have clarification on the opening date of Hurrdat Sports Bar & Grill’s second location. It will be January 10th. Hurrdat, which has an existing location at 12744 Westport Parkway in La Vista, is taking over the former MacDaro’s Pub & Pizzeria at 10746 South 204th Avenue in Gretna.

A new Golf 365 franchise plans to open in a 2,927 sq. ft. space at 11310 Wickersham Boulevard, Suite 600, in Gretna, according to Investors Realty. Opening is scheduled for March.

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The “Restaurant & Retail Updates” section is sponsored by Anderson Convenience Market, featuring Quality AMOCO Fuels and serving Omaha since 1952, and proud to announce the return of Quality Amoco Fuels. Look for changes this Summer at Anderson Convenience Market – 8 Omaha area locations!

Learn more about Anderson Convenience market at www.Anderson1952.com

Grow Omaha Eats with
Sarah Baker Hansen

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Of the 25 restaurants I reviewed in 2023, these are my top eight

By Sarah Baker Hansen

A quick reminder before we dive right into the year’s best reviewed restaurants: As it has been for many years, my annual best-of list only includes restaurants that I have reviewed in the last calendar year. If you don’t see one of your favorites, that is probably why.

Want me to review that favorite, or a different restaurant, in 2024? Send me an email.

Check the graphic I’ve shared as part of this story – and on all my social media – to see the full list of 25 reviews I wrote in 2023.

Happy New Year.

1. Ota

It should come as little surprise that David Uttterback’s Ota is my number one restaurant of the year.

When I reviewed it earlier this year, I said it was the best sushi between Chicago and Los Angeles. Yesterday, the Washington Post called it the best sushi in America.


I’ve been writing about Utterback’s restaurant and his omakase since 2018, when I first reviewed Yoshitomo for the Omaha World-Herald.

From day one, Utterback created a dining experience that didn’t previously exist in our city. He served fascinating bites of fish most diners in Omaha had never tasted before. He presented them gorgeously. He made dishes of his own creation that have now become the restaurant’s signature bites.

And he shared his massive knowledge, in his super-approachable and friendly way, with each small group he encountered during each omakase dinner. For the uninitiated, “omakase” translates to “I’ll leave it up to you,” and that’s just what diners do: put their fate, and their dinner, in the hands of the sushi chef. The experience lasts for several hours, includes more than a dozen courses and usually only includes a small handful of diners.

It doesn’t hurt that Dave is a wonderful host and conversationalist, and his team are hospitality experts.

Now, with Ota, which is his mother’s family name and translates to “big rice patty,” Utterback has expanded his footprint in Benson. He has taken his omakase to that proverbial next level – a level that would have been unimaginable in Omaha or Nebraska if he hadn’t made it our reality.

It is difficult to summarize what Ota is in just a few paragraphs. Instead of making that attempt. I’m going to simply direct you to my full review, which I wrote in March, and end it with this: one of the country’s best food experiences is happening right here in Omaha, in our neighborhood, and I strongly suggest you take a seat at this bar, if you can swing it financially and manage to score an increasingly hard-to-get reservation. Utterback and his team are playing on a national level. And the truth is, that pronouncement isn’t really bold at all. It’s simply true.

6011 Maple Street, inside Yoshitomo

2. The Boiler Room

Since 2009, when it opened its doors, The Boiler Room has been one of the city’s most forward-thinking, consistently good, truly creative restaurants that we’ve ever seen as a food-loving city.

It remains that today, a decade into chef Tim Nicholson’s tenure. I have always been quick to praise the restaurant’s seafood and the fresh fish, the house-made bread and charcuterie and the experience I said you wouldn’t find anywhere else: Where else, in fact, have you ever been able to order a pig’s head terrine? And then there’s the top-notch craft cocktail bar, the gorgeous dining room and the exceptional service, friendly but knowledgeable, proper but still comfortable. All of that has always been the case at the restaurant. But the menu? That’s ever-changing.

I am still thinking about Nicholson’s Yorkshire pudding, which was on the first plates menu one night, and which I don’t recall ever seeing on a fine dining menu in Omaha in the last decade.

The pastry, which had risen tall, had a tender, just-chewy finish. Inside its bowl-like center was a rich, seasonal filing which I was shocked to realize didn’t contain any meat. Instead, it was made of dates, gorgonzola cheese and smoked pecan, topped with tangy pickled mustard seeds, a vegan aioli and a rich mushroom demi glaze.

Large enough to be a main course, and certainly filling enough to be one, the dish had the kind of savory flavor and wonderful execution that made it an original. If it comes back, I will surely order it again.

Nicholson cooks protein to perfection. Beef arrives perfectly medium rare; the pork is always tender and juicy. And in my experience, the same goes for the fish on the Boiler Room’s menu, which is always flaky and light.

While the restaurant isn’t Italian, it knocks out some great homemade pastas, often with hearty Bolognese or braised sugo sauces, which are just excellent.

Service at the restaurant is top-notch. The staff hits the right note between formality and friendliness. Their level of comfort makes the diner feel comfortable, too.

Some restaurants age better than others. The Boiler Room is one that does. Nicholson hasn’t ever lost sight of the upscale French concept the restaurant originated with, but he’s confidently made it his own during the past decade.

It’s hard to hit the right balance between chic and cozy, fancy but hearty, new but familiar, and somehow, the restaurant executes that on each and every level: atmosphere, drinks, service and most of all, food.

The Boiler Room
https://www.boilerroomomaha.com/1110 Jones Street

Hours: Tuesday through Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday

3. Semo Fremont

One of the best meals I’ve eaten this year is in one of the most unexpected places: Fremont’s Main Street.

Semo Pasta + Wine, which chef Drew Statz and his wife, Michelle, opened in downtown Fremont last spring, is what he calls “European-inspired Nebraska cuisine.”

After two visits, I think it’s one of the most interesting spots to open in the Omaha suburbs in years, serving carefully crafted, high-end Italian with an often adventurous bent.

The quality at Semo hit me several times over: first when I tried the blood sausage on polenta, during our first visit — a dish I hardly ever see anywhere in Omaha outside of its periodic appearance at La Buvette. It hit again after I got a look at the homemade slab of pate on the cheese plate, and again when we tried a remarkably well executed Alaskan halibut with elements of hot and cool throughout the plate.

Almost all the pastas we tried were great, a mix of al dente pasta with well seasoned, well executed sauces. Probably the crowd favorite was the mafaldine and Bolognese topped with a generous shave of Pecorino Romano and a drizzle of olive oil. Its long-simmered depth of flavor and chunky meat finish is stick-to-your-ribs good.

Chef and co-owner Drew Statz said he’s letting the guest drive the menu at Semo, and it’s different from even what he initially expected.

“I thought we were going to have to be more casual,” he said. “And then the stuff we put on the menu that fit that more casual audience wasn’t selling. What sold was the wagyu, the nice seafood.”

It takes confidence, I think, to let the guest take the lead. In this case, the guest’s desire and the chef’s skills end up coexisting to create one of the more intriguing dining experiences I’ve had in some time.

Semo Pasta + Wine
https://www.semofremont.com/414 N. Main Street, Fremont
Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Closed Monday and Tuesday

4. Kinaara

It’s almost strange to think that Kinaara, which moved from a Millard hole-in-the-wall to a chic spot in Regency in 2022, hasn’t always been there, with its creative, high-end Indian food served in an atmosphere to match.

I couldn’t be more thrilled for us diners, or for owners Ashish Sathyan and Kimberly Harris, who I first met when I reviewed Kinaara way back in 2021, and then again later that year when I put them on my Eater essentials list.

I stand by what I said then: the restaurant is serving some of the most singular Indian food in the city, and since the move, which also included a lot of menu upgrades and the addition of a wine and cocktail menu, it’s gotten even better.

The excellent tandoori chicken is made with half of a bird from Plum Creek Farms, a well-known local producer, and that quality makes it shine. Each bite is tender and juicy, with plenty of spice and a generous side of smoky tikka sauce for dipping.

Since my review, I’ve recommended the Wagyu beef coconut fry to several friends and family members, and eaten it several times myself. It’s one of the menu’s gems.

High-quality hunks of wagyu chuck from Morgan Ranch, in Burwell, Neb., are swathed in a complex, herbaceous sauce made with ginger, garlic, red onion, coconut slices and garam masala, a classic Indian spice blend. The beef is crisp-tender and the sauce is wonderful, and even once I was full, I kept sneaking bites.

Kinaara has some dishes that are truly unique to Omaha. Chef Ashish Sathyan’s devotion to sharing his family’s recipes and his Southern Indian heritage are delightful; now, he’s doing that work in a space that matches such an adventurous attitude.

Regency Shopping Center
(402) 895-3463
Hours: Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., closed Sunday

5. Mootz

The first person you’re likely to see when you walk into the new brick-and-mortar location of Mootz Pizza, on the back edge of Countryside Village, is Brent Adkisson, Mootz pizza chef Collin Adkisson’s dad, working at the cash register.

Look around and you’ll also probably spot Ruth Adkisson, his mother, prepping in the back of the kitchen, or clearing tables in the dining room.

Collin Adkisson himself is right there, too, preparing the pop-up turned food truck turned dining room’s signature thin crust, wood fired pies.

To say Mootz, an opening I’ve been anticipating since 2021, is a family affair is kind of an understatement. Collin and his family know what’s what, and Mootz, I am happy to say, does not disappoint.

Two of his recent daily specials – a Philly pizza and a Buffalo chicken pizza – linger in my memory.

The Philly pie, which Matthew and I both thought of as an upscale take on the Nebraska hamburger pie, had plenty of flavor and a clear commitment to good ingredients. It was, in two words, surprisingly refined.

I thought the same when I tried his take on a Buffalo chicken pizza, if you can believe that. Juicy chicken from Western Iowa’s Flavor Country Farms gets torn into hunks and scattered on top of a calabrian chili Buffalo sauce and two cheeses: Fior de latte, which is a pure cow’s milk mozzarella, and Grana Padano. The whole thing gets a handful of “micro celery,” pretty green wisps that bring both color and subtle flavor.

This is a pizza that could have been drowned in sauce, but isn’t. It’s balanced and well-composed.

I have no doubt that Collin will continue to create interesting, unusual and likely delicious pizzas — I can’t wait to try his bacon, egg and cheese breakfast pizza, for example.

“One of my favorite things about pizza,” Collin said, “Is that one ingredient can totally alter the whole pizza.”

He’s right, and that’s great. And how fun for the city of Omaha: we get to be the ones to see what he comes up with next.

(531) 283-5335.
8725 Shamrock Road in Countryside Village
Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday.

To-go orders are available for pickup, and need to be ordered over the phone. The Mootz food truck is available to rent for special events, and details are on the website.

6. Lyle’s

I know, I know, more pizza. But ​​Lyle’s is one of those great neighborhood spots that dot the city of Omaha: No matter how long it’s been open, it feels like it’s always been there.

The locally owned New York-style joint, which opened near 52nd & Leavenworth Street in April, has all the trappings of a comfortable, worn-in pizza joint, including a long bar, lots of white subway tile, vintage black-and-white photographs of Omaha and a large, powerful pizza oven.

During my two recent weeknight visits, our experiences were mostly positive: I liked more dishes than not on Lyle’s petite menu, and I found service friendly and prompt and the atmosphere comfortable and welcoming.

The Funghi is one of Lyle’s simplest pizzas, and perhaps one of the best: deeply roasted mushrooms bring a lovely earthiness, and, paired with salty fontina, mozzarella and rich Parmigiano Reggiano. I could have eaten several slices.

We tried two of Lyle’s meat pizzas: the sausage and the tres carne. The first came topped with chunks of fennel sausage, tomato sauce, mozzarella, spicy pepperoncini, dollops of goat cheese and a healthy drizzle of Mike’s Hot Honey, the pizza ingredient of the moment.

The pie packed a decent amount of spice between the hot honey, the pepperoncini and the sausage itself. Goat cheese was an interesting choice — one I hadn’t expected.

The stretch of Leavenworth that Lyle’s calls home is, of course, next door to the former home of J. Coco. It’s nice to see a new, locally owned spot fill the gap left by the exit of that spot. Though Lyle’s has a different look and feel and a totally different menu, it’s small, vibrant presence brings impact. I know I’ll be back.

Lyle’s Pizzeria
5213 Leavenworth Street
Hours: Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

7. The Mill on Leavenworth

Of all the places on this year’s list, the Mill on Leavenworth is the one I have revisited the most.

It was my favorite spot in Lincoln as a college kid in the late 1990s, and now it’s my favorite once again. Coffee culture in Omaha has grown a lot since then — this was when the show “Friends” was still new, my friends — and for me, The Mill fills a niche that’s a mix of nostalgia, comfort, and honestly, simple, good coffee.

The beans are not as complex as the ones you’ll find at Archetype. The drinks are not as finely crafted as the ones I’ve ordered at Rally, in north Downtown. There’s no extra creamy, vegan pistachio latte like the one we discovered at Amateur Coffee, on Cuming Street.

Though I love all those shops, I go to The Mill for specific, easy drinks, like a cup of their gently flavored hot hazelnut brew topped with steamed milk, or a cold brew mixed with house made cookie butter syrup that gives a hint of Biscoff mixed with Trader Joe’s speculoos. It’s divine.

The shop also has the locally owned chain’s first drive-thru, which I have taken advantage of more than is probably acceptable.

Inside, the Mill Leavenworth has an updated version of that worn-in cozy vibe I so loved about the original Lincoln location. Chairs are comfortable and abundant. There’s a trendy but appealing library wall covered with a literal rainbow of books. Lighting is soft and warm. And, after 5, the bar seating area becomes an actual bar, with a menu of beer, wine and house-created cocktails, along with a limited menu of savory snacks.

I’ve spent several hours during the day and in the evening at the Omaha Mill, and I’m not the only one. Every time I visited, the place was packed. Of course, a few people still read newspapers, which I found deeply comforting. But most were like me: headphones on, laptops on, work hours being logged. To that end, I can hardly believe how many wall outlets the shop has, tucked behind curtains or underneath chairs. It’s impressive. Coffee culture has changed, and the Mill has, too.

The Mill on Leavenworth
https://millcoffee.com/3105 Leavenworth St.
Hours: open daily, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

8. Omaha Bagel Co.

The final spot on the list goes to a bagel that’s been on my mind the entirety of 2023: the French toast bagel at Omaha Bagel Co.

A better version of a cinnamon crunch bagel, the Omaha Bagel Co. version is coated almost all the way around in a thin layer of sweet, brittle-like cinnamon crispy bits. The bottom, coated in more buttery cinnamon, approaches a sticky bun. It’s absolutely delicious.

But all the bagels, really, are good. Tinged with the flavor of sourdough, the inside has the right amount of chew, and the exterior has an impressively bubbly, crisp crust.

They’re pretty, too: softly rounded with a hint of shine, they look handmade because they are. There’s plain, yes, but also many appealing flavors, like asiago cheese, crusty French toast and rosemary sea salt. They’re the kind of baked good that, once I lay eyes on, I simply am not able to resist.

The texture of the bagels is spot-on. I grew up devoted to west Omaha’s Bagel Bin; these bagels have the same chew as the interior of those bagels, but where they’re different is the exterior: the outside almost pops with crispness as you cut into one, and the bubbled finish is thanks to that active sourdough starter the Shields use in their recipe, which co-owner Henry Shields developed.

There’s several savory choices and a handful of sweet ones. Among my favorites: A deeply savory asiago cheese bagel, its outside coated in a layer of browned cheese that has a rich, nutty flavor. A sophisticated sea salt and rosemary combination, where the chunky flakes of salt add to the bagel’s crispy exterior in a pleasant way.

Omaha Bagel Co.

Bagel flavors are listed each week on Instagram/FB. Friday and Saturday are the typical baking days, but an effort is always made to accommodate mid-week requests, when possible. Orders must be made before noon on Thursday for pickup or delivery on Friday. Saturday orders follow the same timeline of noon the day prior. Delivery is available within five miles of 96th and Center from 7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m., and pickup is from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The address will be provided to pick up orders upon confirmation. A dozen bagels is $24, and plain cream cheese is $4. For more information, or to order, DM via Instagram, text or call 402-706-2529

Grow Omaha Eats with Sarah Baker Hansen is sponsored by Cheer Athletics, one of the largest and most respected All-Star cheerleading programs in the United States. The Omaha location is at 14620 Gold Coast Road, near Highway 370 and 144th Street. Learn more HERE!

The Big Story

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Above: Omaha Airport Authority

Holiday Traffic at Eppley

The Winter Holiday travel period is one of the busiest in the United States every year, and Eppley Airfield is preparing for a few busy weeks ahead, according to the Omaha Airport Authority.

Officials at Omaha’s airport expect approximately 306,000 travelers between December 15th and January 4th. That’s about 8.5 percent more than last year.

Eppley’s four busiest travel days of the winter holiday season are expected to be (in order): 1. Wednesday, Dec. 27th; 2. Thursday, December 21st; 3. Wednesday, December 20th; and Friday, December 22nd.

To assist travelers in preparing for their trips, Omaha Airport Authority officials offer these tips:

• Arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to departure to allow for enough time to park, check-in at the airline ticket counter and process through the security checkpoints

• Stay informed on flight status with your airline’s website or mobile app

• Visit FlyOMA.com or download the FlyOMA mobile app to view security checkpoint wait times, airport parking availability or to reserve parking with ParkOMA

Additional winter travel tips can be found on the TSA’s website, TSA.gov.

Passenger departure drop-off and arrival pick-up areas are now located on Level 1 of the South Garage because of the construction of the Terminal Drive & Canopy Project. Drivers will see signage directing them to the correct lane where they will meet travelers. Vehicles entering those lanes will not be charged parking fees. Drivers picking up arriving passengers can use one of two free cell phone lots, north and south of the terminal, to wait until their guests are ready to be picked up.

Travelers with special needs requiring assistance should contact the Airport Communications Center at 402-661-8100. Drivers picking up or dropping off travelers with disabilities may use the new pick-up and drop-off area inside Level 1 of the South Garage or the front drive lane designated for commercial vehicles.

This section is sponsored by RENZE. For over 128 years, we have been providing our clients with innovative solutions for interior corporate and retail branding, as well as unique exhibits and graphics for tradeshows and events. With leading-edge equipment and quality craftspeople working out of our 90,000 sq. ft. facility, we partner with you to help create your vision. We like watching brands grow. Click HERE to see our recent work for Steelhouse Omaha!

Grow Omaha Snippets

Grow Omaha Snippets Sponsored by:

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In a Bureau of Economic Analysis report released this month, Douglas County had the highest rate of GDP growth among the nation’s largest counties. Gross Domestic Product in the Omaha-anchored county grew by 9.2 percent in 2022.That put Douglas County number one among all 145 U.S. counties that have at least 500,000 people. The finance and insurance industries were the leading contributors to the county’s rapid GDP growth.

A tower crane is now in place on the site of a former 24-Hour Fitness building at 120th & Miami Street in the North Park development. The old fitness club is being converted into a 5-story apartment building with 160 units.

Construction will begin soon on a recreation and tourist attraction at Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park in Council Bluffs, according to WOWT. Plans call for a half-mile treetop walkway, adventure course, 50-foot climbing wall and a 138-foot observation tower to be known as the MidAmerican Energy Adventure Tower. Completion is planned for 2025.

R&R Realty Group has broken ground on a 286,000 sq. ft. warehouse building as part of its R&R Commerce Park South development in Sarpy County. Located southeast of 156th & Schram Road, R&R Commerce Park South will eventually consist of six buildings totaling more than 1.3 million square feet.

Nebraska’s population growth rebounded to healthy levels in the past year after two years of anemic growth brought on by the pandemic, according to the Omaha World-Herald. The Census Bureau estimates Nebraska’s population at 1,978,379 as of July 1st this year, up 10,319 people from the 2022 estimate.

In sheer numbers, that increase was more than double the combined growth in 2021 and 2022, when the state was estimated to have added just 980 and 3,807 people, respectively. Those numbers were held down by increased deaths during the pandemic as well as lower immigration.

Grow Omaha Snippets are brought to you by Omaha Car Care with four metro area locations – 131st & Dodge, 58th & Center, 85th & L and 144th & Harrison.

Omaha Car Care “We’ll be along for the ride.”

Business News

Local Business News Sponsored by FranNet of The Heartland:

For a fourth straight month, Creighton University’s Rural Mainstreet Index sank below growth neutral, according to the December survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and energy. The region’s overall reading for December rose to 41.7 from 40.4 in November. A reading of 50.0 represents growth neutral.

FSC Edge, an Omaha-based company that provided data and document management services to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office closed recently after losing its federal contract. The closing affected approximately 200 local workers.

Hallmark Homecare, Inc. recently expanded to Omaha, according to Strictly Business. The fast-growing recruiting and matchmaking service for senior clients with caregivers will be operated by Shane Neuharth, who recently joined Hallmark Homecare as a franchise partner.

HDR has been selected to support the Washington State Department of Ecology in developing a programmatic environmental impact statement, or PEIS, to prepare for development of green hydrogen energy projects in the state. The PEIS will help evaluate potential significant environmental impacts and assess which areas of the state are suitable for green hydrogen energy, considering the types of hydrogen projects that could be built.

Doctor of Physical Therapy will move into a 1,490 sq. ft. space formerly occupied by ATI PT at 4110 South 144th Street, according to Investors Realty. Opening is planned for this spring.

W.K. Kellogg Co will continue operating its cereal plant in Battle Creek, Mich., after previously announcing its intentions to move its operations to Canada, according to FoodDive. The state of Michigan provided a $5 million grant to keep in the plant in Battle Creek for the next 15 years. The company also operates a cereal plant at 9601 F Street in Omaha.

Southwest Airlines reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Transportation for a $140 million fine related to last year’s Christmas holiday meltdown, according to CNBC. That’s in addition to the $600 million the airline paid to reimburse stranded passengers. Southwest is the busiest carrier at Eppley Airport with more than 36 percent of the Omaha market share.

Nebraska appears headed for 1.7 percent job growth in 2023, according to Omaha World-Herald. That’s well above the state’s historical average. A number of factors drove that growth including a bounce-back in the restaurant and leisure industry and more-normal levels of immigration. Nebraska is expected to add 18,000 nonfarm jobs this year.

The average price of gasoline in the United States hit its lowest level since June 2021, dropping to $3.04 per gallon, according to The Hustle. Thirty states are currently under $3 per gallon.

A Delaware judge decided Berkshire Hathaway will not be allowed to use allegations that billionaire Jimmy Haslam tried to bribe employees at the Pilot truck stop chain to inflate the company’s value as Berkshire defends itself in a dispute over the company’s accounting practices, according to Fortune.

The ruling came in a lawsuit in which Pilot Corp. claims that Berkshire Hathaway, which holds 80% of Pilot Travel Centers, has used accounting changes to try to artificially depress the price Berkshire would have to pay for the Haslam family’s remaining 20% stake in the truck-stop chain.

This section is sponsored by FranNet of The Heartland, the local, trusted franchise experts. They are “in the business of helping you get into business!”

Grow Omaha University

Leadership & Sales Insights for Ambitious People

Compiled by Grow Omaha co-founder and sales trainer Jeff Beals.

Sponsored by Dundee Bank


Bosses are using tougher performance reviews to cut the workforces without resorting to layoffs, according to Fortune. Why? Because employees aren’t quitting on their own. The quit rate, which measures workers’ willingness to leave jobs, has remained unchanged at 2.3 percent for four consecutive months.

Nearly one in four Americans in romantic relationships admit to keeping a money-related secret from their significant other, according to CNBC.

Shrinkflation is the process in which businesses shrink the size of their goods while keeping prices the same. According to Business Insider, here are the products that shrunk the most as inflation rose: 1. Household paper products; 2. Snacks; 3. Candy and gum; 4. Household cleaning products; 5. Coffee.

Business Travel – The U.S. Department of Transportation received more than 26,000 complaints about airlines during the first five months of 2023, according to NPR. That’s more than double the number in the same period a year earlier.

Housing is one of the biggest drivers of rising college prices, fueling the $1.6 trillion federal student loan crisis, according to the Wall Street Journal. A recent study examined the price of residence halls going back two decades at 12 public universities around the country. The least expensive bed increased by a median of 70 percent in today’s dollars.


Here’s a process advancement question you could use, courtesy of HubSpot: “Based on what I’ve described, do you believe what I’m able to offer can address your needs?”

Approximately 50 percent of prospects are not a good fit for what the typical company sells, according to HubSpot.

By addressing something that your prospect is dealing with now, you can quickly make a connection while gathering valuable intel, according to sales expert Mike Brooks. You might consider trying: “You know (prospect name) a lot of my clients have told me of the changes they’re having to make because of (a new law). How is that affecting you?” Or something like: “What are you planning to feature at the September trade show?”

BradBird gives you an edge when competing for customers. There are 40 modules, each a different topic. Modules include a video and matching workbook. It’s only $79 per month and group discounts are available. You can cancel at any time. If you’re an action-taker, click HERE and get started now!


“What’s behind you doesn’t matter.” – Enzo Ferrari

Founded in 2006 right in the heart of Omaha’s Dundee community, Dundee Bank is all about local ownership, friendly customer service, and supporting the needs of our beloved community. With nearly 100% of your deposits going right back into our neighborhoods, Dundee Bank is committed to fueling growth, enabling loans, and fostering stability for you and your neighbors. So why not open an account at Dundee Bank and discover what it means to truly support local?


Did You Know?

Surprising Facts, Figures & Points of Pride That Make Omaha Unique

This section is sponsored by Lockbox Storage.

Did you know the University of Nebraska Medical Center and its hospital partner, Nebraska Medicine, have an annual economic impact of $5.9 billion?

Did you know the J.P. Lord School at 4444 Marinda Street is named for Dr. John Preston Lord (1860-1940)? He was a physician and surgeon from 1888 to 1938. The school serves students who are multi-handicapped and considered to be medically fragile. (Sources: Omaha historian Howard Hamilton and Omaha Public Schools)

Did you know that Westroads Mall is more than 1,045,782 sq. ft. and has 122 tenants plus 5,106 parking stalls?

This section is sponsored by Lockbox Storage, an affiliate of Omaha-based McGregor Interests Inc. We provide storage solutions for all of your storage needs. Our facilities have full-time managers and bright lighting to provide superior security for your belongings. In addition to space for rent, we also provide packing supplies, protection plans and locks along with complimentary handcarts and dollies. Visit LockBox Storage and let us help you with all your storage needs.

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Holiday Chess Blitz on December 22nd: Calling all chess players! Immerse yourself in a holly jolly chess experience amid the serene beauty of Lauritzen Gardens! Hosted by local chess master Nathan Solon, experience the thrill of speed chess games against fellow enthusiasts (clocks will be provided). If you prefer a slower pace, you can feel free to play at your own speed. Participation is free but Bright Nights tickets are required to gain admission to the venue. Enjoy the holiday festivities and participate in the Holiday Chess Blitz!

Ugly Sweater Party Time on December 22nd: Dust off those gaudy holiday sweaters buried in the back of your closet and pull out the ugliest one you can find for our outrageously festive ugly sweater party. The person rocking the absolute ugliest sweater will win a $100 gift card. If prying into the fashion faux pas of holidays past isn’t enough enticement, Buschwackers will also be serving up $3 Domestics all night long. Bring out your tackiest threads and come get ugly with us for a hilarious night of fun with great friends!

Bright Nights happening on December 8th-23rd and 26th-30th: Set a merry mood with friends and family and explore the illuminated indoor gardens on select nights. From a 20′ tall poinsettia tree to a tropical paradise, see festive installations that glow and shine and showcase nature in a new light. Happening on select nights at Lauritzen Gardens. Reserve your tickets now!

Night Light: Glow on December 28th: Play at adults-only Thursday nights with exhibits and provocative programs that will expand your brain and spark joy. As the nights grow longer, make plans to join others for ‘Night Light Glow’ — a joyful exhibition of light, art, and science. Explore glowing art from international and local artists, and exhibits and activities that play with light. During Night Light Glow, you’ll be able to explore bioluminescence, glowing chemistry experiments, the human need for light in the darkness and more!

Zoolightful happening on December 15th-23rd and 26th-30th: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium welcomes the holiday season with an all-new wildly bright tradition: Zoolightful presented by Chesterman Co. Coca-Cola. Visitors will experience the zoo like they’ve never seen before, as it transforms into a world of immersive lands with unique and enchanting experiences, dazzling light displays and unforgettable holiday fun!

This Upcoming Events section is sponsored by Eagle Mortgage Company, is a locally owned and full-service mortgage company in Omaha.

Eagle Mortgage can help you realize your dream of owning a home.

People in the News

Sponsored by Baird Holm Attorneys at Law

a beautiful blue and white house with a green lawn
digital rendering of Flatiron District project buildings

Mutual of Omaha has made changes in its investment management operation effective January 1st. Ryan Comins, co-head of investments, adds the title of Chief Investment Officer, focusing on strengthening relationships with external stakeholders and investment managers. Tyler Bakker, also co-head of investments, adds the title of head of portfolio strategies, focusing on leading portfolio strategies and engaging with key internal stakeholders.

Union Pacific Corporation has appointed John Tien to its board of directors. Tien most recently served as deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, retiring this past July. During his tenure, Tien served as the department’s chief operating officer, responsible for operations, technology, budget, personnel, risk management, customer service and facilities and infrastructure. He oversaw a multi-billion-dollar budget, facilities in all 50 states and more than 3,000 personnel stationed overseas in more than 75 countries.

Visiting Nurse Association has named Dr. Carole Patrick, a longtime VNA leader, as its next CEO effective immediately. Patrick joined VNA in 2017 as vice president of development and communications. In 2022, she was promoted to chief philanthropy officer. She was named interim CEO in June following former CEO James Summerfelt’s retirement.

E & A Consulting Group, Inc. has hired Lindsey Hinrichs at marketing and branding coordinator.

The “People in the News” section is sponsored by Baird Holm LLP. Baird Holm’s dedicated team of real estate lawyers has extensive experience in all aspects of real estate law, including purchases, sales, zoning and land use, leasing, and dispute resolution. Click HERE for more information.

Wall Street: The Week in Review

with George Morgan

Morgan is the founder of Morgan Investor Education of Omaha.

Sponsored by Baird Holm Attorneys at Law

Views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author.

I love country western music. Well, actually I hate the singing – especially the fake southern twangy stuff – but I love the words. My current favorite is “I got some ocean front property in Arizona. From my front porch you can see the sea.”

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal made me think, maybe the WSJ has some ocean front property for sale. The article’s headline – in giant capital 24-point font – reads “EVERYTHING RALLY HEATS UP!” I quote: “Investors spent most of 2023 fretting about the Fed and interest rates, but now they are snapping up everything in sight, stocks, bonds, gold and even crypto.”

I checked on the stock market activity levels in the five business days preceding the article – lo and behold – volume was down every day, somewhere between 10 to 15 percent. Crypto dropped 3.7 percent the day before the article.

A few paragraphs later, the article quotes Jason Draho, head of asset allocation at UBS Global Wealth Management: “The economy is slowing, but not cracking. All of this recent flurry of activity – see paragraph above – means that the concern about any Fed rate hikes is completely off the table.”

It goes on to opine that when investors are optimistic, the price of gold declines significantly. It then went on to state that gold futures are at a record high. “Investors are growing more concerned about when the Fed’s hawkish interest rate stance will end. It appears we are not there yet.”

The author states that the weekly survey released by the American Association of Individual Investors shows that more than half of the participants expect the markets to decline over the next 6 months. Just 24 percent of the respondents were bullish, and more than double that number were bearish. Optimism at the end of the month was at its lowest level since 2018.

The article concludes with a quotation from Justin Simon, portfolio manager at Jasper capital management: “People are jumping up-and-down. Trying to get onto the bandwagon, which we think will continue, well through the next year.”

Wall Street’s business with the investing public relies on their ability to forecast stock prices and the direction of the market. So, my question to you is, will you buy Wall Street’s oceanfront property in Arizona? Just to follow-up – The above referenced country western song concludes with, “If you buy my ocean front property in Arizona, I’ll throw in the golden gate bridge.”

Bridge anyone?

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Have You Watched Grow O on Video Yet?

Jeff Beals, Trenton Magid and a guest in the KFAB 1110 Radio Booth

The Grow Omaha radio show broadcasts live every Saturday morning at 9:00, but now you can watch videos of each episode instead of just listening.

Grow Omaha’s brand-new website features video footage shot inside the radio studio during each week’s show!

Videos include News of the Week, Lightning Round, guest interviews, and “Grow Omaha Uncut,” a behind-the-scenes look at what happens during commercial breaks.

Support the Grow “O” Mission

Don’t keep this newsletter to yourself. Forward it to your friends, clients and co-workers. You want to know the real reason we produce this report? It’s to remind Omahans about the vibrant, prosperous and growing city they call home. The more Omaha residents believe in their city, the more successful we’ll all be. Spread the news!

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