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Weekly Market Report – February 2, 2023
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Restaurant & Retail Updates
Cold Stone Creamery and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory will open February 9th at Nebraska Crossing in Gretna. YETI will open in the same mall March 9th. It will be YETI’s first Nebraska or Iowa store. The Texas-based company currently has just 13 stores in seven states. Finally, Athleta plans to open a Nebraska Crossing store this summer.
Plans are underway for Destiny Café, a non-profit restaurant that will employ adults with disabilities. The restaurant will serve breakfast and lunch. Organizers are currently working on fundraising and site selection with opening anticipated in 2024.
Clean Juice will hold a ribbon cutting February 9th for its new store at 10319 Pacific Street in One Pacific Place. In addition to juices and smoothies, Clean Juice serves organic wraps, sandwiches, acai bowls and salads. The North Carolina-based company has 170 locations in 27 states.
The Scooter’s Coffee drive-thru kiosk at Regency Landing is now open northeast of Interstate 680 & Pacific Street.
Rowan plans to open its first Nebraska or Iowa store soon at Village Pointe Shopping Center. The New York-based company does ear piercings, all of which are conducted by licensed nurses. Rowan has 24 locations in 14 states. The closest existing locations are in Minneapolis and Chicago.
Panda Express is considering a restaurant with drive through on the northeast corner of Southport Parkway & Westport Parkway in La Vista. The site is south of the Embassy Suites Hotel and west of a brand-new retail strip and Starbuck’s coffee shop.
Tita’s Cakes Pasteles and Postres has rented 1,200 sq. ft. at 8406 Q Street, according to Gary Petersen of NAI NP Dodge, who brokered the lease.
Cricket Wireless will hold a ribbon cutting February 9th for its new store at 5102 L Street.
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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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Review: The atmosphere at Omaha’s Kinaara now matches its adventurous, unusual menu
The food at the new location of Kinaara, which moved from a Millard hole-in-the-wall to a chic spot in Regency in August, is filling a hole in Omaha’s dining scene for 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, I daresay it’s gotten even better.
The new Kinaara is tucked in a bay on the west side of Regency, where Mode de Vie, a French-inspired Champagne bar, once was; it closed in 2019. Harris told me after my visits that the bay was move-in ready when they saw it, and they’d long outgrown their old space in Millard, near 138th and P Streets.
“We definitely needed a bigger space,” she said. “Almost immediately when we reopened the dining room, we realized we had outgrown our place.”
Kinaara pivoted to takeout only in 2020, and the dining room reopened in May of 2021. The pandemic-era takeout service became so popular that their customer base, when the dining room did reopen, had grown exponentially.
Now, many of those customers, plus new ones, have sought them out in Regency, where they, like me, found some of the staples, including butter chicken, korma and tikka masala.
But Sathyan has also given the menu some higher-end upgrades. For example, 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. Though the meat didn’t really need the sauce, it’s good.
Chicken has a second moment in the spotlight on the appetizer menu. For the kebab trio, Sathyan marinates three chicken thighs in three separate sauces: red chicken tikka; hariyali, which is a green sauce made with mint and coriander; and pale malai, made with a combination of ginger, garlic, green chile, cream-cheese, coriander-stem and cardamom.
Together, these flavors are lip-smackingly bright, with plenty of zing. The hariyali was our favorite, though all three are enjoyable.
Harris said the kitchen has always focused on working with local producers, but most of the time at the Millard location, those higher-priced dishes were only served as weekend specials. Now, they’ve moved several of those onto the permanent menu. The more basic items, she said, remain at a more affordable price point.
Sathyan is originally from Kerala, India, and his city makes lots of appearances on the menu. He’s expanded the lineup of family recipes, including grandma’s fish and mango curry, where the tender, nicely executed Atlantic salmon shines through an complex, spicy sauce made with coconut milk, ginger, green mango and cambodge, a tropical fruit known as Malabar Tamarind that has a sweet and sour flavor.
I look forward to trying his mother’s chicken varutharacha curry, made with toasted coconut paste, and his goat stew, a favorite of Harris’ late grandfather.
On our second visit, I tried the Wagyu beef coconut fry, which Sathyan told me is the restaurant’s most popular entree. I can see why.
High-quality hunks of wagyu chuck from Morgan Ranch, in Burwell, 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.
Heat in the pork cheek vindaloo snuck up on my dining partner — after all, it’s what this dish is known for. The meat, here from Iowa-based Jon’s Naturals, is super tender and super spicy. It’s vinegary, gingery and plenty garlicky.
I noted in my first review that Kinaara is not big on substitutions in meals, and that remains the case. Harris said now, the kitchen doesn’t do substitutions.
“We put a lot of thought into our menu, and we are not going to change it,” she said. “If a dish is supposed to be spicy, it’s going to be spicy.”
So take note, fans of mild: If you want mild, order something mild. I enjoy spicy food — you probably know that by now — and I went with the medium level of spice for all my dishes. Even at medium, Vindaloo is hot; on my first visit, a man at a nearby table ordered his vindaloo extra hot. Godspeed, sir.
There’s plenty of sides and sauces to cool things down. All the bread at Kinaara is great, and I really like the chili garlic naan, though the cheese stuffed paneer kulcha is also delicious. Pappadum arrives warm and with a hint of smoky flavor, and has the kind of addictive crisp crunch that makes it so you’ll eat the whole basket.
Green chutney comes with several of the breads and its cooling finish cuts through heat. There’s also some nice, bright wines on the list, including an unoaked chardonnay and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, both of which pair well with spicy food. I also liked my Tamarind whiskey sour, where the sweet-sour balance comes from the fruit and pairs well with Four Roses bourbon.
In the coming months, Sathyan plans to introduce a tasting menu that he will serve at a long table in one corner of the restaurant for limited parties. I expect these dinners will be popular, and I can’t wait to experience one myself.
Kinaara is different in more ways than one, and its menu has some dishes that are truly unique to Omaha. 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.
M-Th 11a to 9p
F & Sat 11a to 9:30p
The Big Story
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Metro Area Development Project Updates
Our newest edition of the Grow Omaha Construction Update video, produced by Brad Williams, is now available on our website or by clicking HERE. Grow Omaha’s construction videos are full of footage and information about developments across the metro area.
This week’s Big Story highlights some of the projects you’ll see in the video:
Kiewit Luminarium – With three months to go before the scheduled grand opening, exterior work is complete and landscaping is going in. At night, the brightly lit building looks like a glowing iceberg floating over the Missouri River
The Kiewit Luminarium is part of Lewis & Clark Landing, which is one of three parks comprising the $300 million Riverfront renovation. The others are Gene Leahy Mall and Heartland of America Park. A playground is under construction just south of the Luminarium. It will look similar to the playground that opened last summer on the Gene Leahy Mall but will be substantially larger
Work is coming along on one of the last remaining sections of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s massive overhaul of the Council Bluffs freeway system: the Interstates 480 & 29 interchange. Bridges carrying traffic east from Omaha to both north and south Interstate 29 are done. Bridges from I-29 carrying traffic toward Omaha, as well as the main north-south stem, are still under construction.
At 38th & Leavenworth, exterior work is nearly complete on the Cosgrove Apartments. Crews are now working on sidewalks and other concrete around the building. The first apartments should be ready for move-in this spring.
Renovation work is wrapping up on the historic Trio Building on the southeast corner of 15th & Farnam. When complete this building will have 18 apartments on the upper floors and a new restaurant on the ground level called, “Untamed Kitchen,” as well as a yet-to-be-named coffee shop.
Most of the main structure is in place for the 42,000 sq. ft., two-level addition to Joslyn Art Museum, which will open in 2024.
Near the University of Nebraska Medical Center, construction has reached the second floor on the future 6-story Hampton Inn going up on the southwest corner of 44th & Douglas Street. Speaking of new hotels, the 4-story Fairfield Inn near 72nd & Grover is framed and mostly enclosed in the MH Landing development.
In Little Bohemia, the Little Bo Bungalows & Flats is mostly enclosed northeast of 12th & William Street This project will have standard studio, 1- and 2-bedroom units as well as bungalow style lofts. Amenities include heated underground parking and a rooftop deck overlooking the downtown skyline.
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. See a wide variety of our work HERE!
Grow Omaha Snippets
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Owners of the Union Omaha soccer team hope to build a $100 million, 10,000-seat stadium in north downtown that could be accompanied by new housing, a hotel and entertainment businesses, according to Nebraska Examiner. State Sen. Mike McDonald has introduced Legislative Bill 621, which if passed, would allocate up to $50 million for the project.
The soccer team currently plays at Werner Park in Papillion, home of the AAA-level Omaha Storm Chasers. The new downtown stadium could allow Union Omaha to move up to a higher league and add a women’s pro soccer team.
Union Omaha has not identified a site, but a mostly abandoned Union Pacific lot northeast of Charles Schwab Field could be a candidate. The parking lot west of CHI Health Center Omaha might also be under consideration.
Construction has gone vertical on the first building at Google’s northwest Omaha data center campus. Google is building a 2.2 million sq. ft. data center on a 457-acre site near State Street & Highway 133. The California-based tech giant has other local data centers in Papillion and Council Bluffs.
The Omaha Streetcar Authority has launched a new website called Omaha Streetcar on Track, which provides updated information, financing details and construction timelines for Omaha’s new modern streetcar. Check it out HERE.
A Metropolitan Area Planning Agency report has identified four potential options for a new roadway alignment that would divert heavy truck traffic from Highway 75 (North 30th Street) through the Florence area. That stretch carries between 15,000 and 20,000 cars per day. Almost 6 percent of those vehicles are heavy trucks. The potential options include:
1. 30th Street Complete Street Enhancements – Change to three lanes, one through-lane each direction with center turn lane, add curb bump outs
2. Diverting truck traffic to Pershing Drive between 28th Street to 28th Avenue, have one through-lane each direction with center turn lane
3. Building a 16th Street river crossing for truck traffic with two through-lanes each direction and center turn lane or median-divided with left turn lanes
4. Building a Pershing Drive river crossing with two through-lanes each direction and center turn lane or median-divided with left turn lanes
Officials could decide to make no changes. Each option requires significant public expenditure.
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.”
Local Business News Sponsored by FranNet of The Heartland:
Australian media intelligence company, Truescope, has announced its acquisition of Universal Information Services, an Omaha-based company specializing in media contact management, news monitoring, and PR measurement services. Truescope’s North American headquarters will be in the WoodmenLife Tower. Plans call for adding more employees in Omaha, where Universal has been located for more than 100 years. Truescope was founded in 2019 and now operates in Australia, Singapore, New Zealand and North America.
United Airlines, Tallgrass, and Omaha-based Green Plains Inc. have announced a new joint venture – Blue Blade Energy – to develop and then commercialize a novel Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) technology that uses ethanol. If the technology is successful, Blue Blade is expected to construct of a pilot facility in 2024, followed by a full-scale facility that could begin commercial operations by 2028. The offtake agreement could provide for enough SAF to fly more than 50,000 flights annually between United’s hub airports in Chicago and Denver.
AMCON Distributing Company has announced fully diluted earnings per share of $4.46 on net income available to common shareholders of $2.6 million for its first fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2022. The wholesale distribution segment reported revenues of $555.7 million and operating income of $8.2 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2023. The retail health food segment reported revenues of $10.3 million and an operating loss of $0.3 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2023.
The Omaha Daily Record has leased 2,586 sq. ft. in the 3-story U.S. Bank office building at 222 South 72nd Street according to Trenton Magid and Jordan Estee of NAI NP Dodge, who represented the tenant.
Scoular, an Omaha-based global supply chain company, launched a new name for its food ingredient business that showcases its capabilities in providing innovative ingredients to customers. The new name—Scoular Food Innovation—reflects the company’s food industry expertise and experience supplying on-trend ingredients to meet growing consumer demand.
The Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a leading economic indicator for the nine-state region stretching from Minnesota to Arkansas, fell below growth neutral for a third straight month. The index, which ranges between 0 and 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral, sank to 47.0, down slightly from 47.1 in December.
National Retail Real Estate News – Sam’s Club plans to open 30 new U.S. stores over the next several years as well as five fulfillment and distribution centers in 2023, according to Retail Dive. Sam’s Club also plans to add more fulfillment space within its new stores — which, at 160,000 sq. ft., will be larger than most current locations.
Additional Retail News – More stores opened than closed in the United States last year for the first time since 1995, according to The Lerner Company’s annual retail market survey: “Ecommerce sales are on the decline with only 14.5 percent of total retail sales occurring online, of which almost 50 percent of those sales come from brick-and-mortar merchants.”
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-founJeff Bealsder and sales trainer
Sponsored by MyStaff, Inc.
Leadership & Management
Many executives say that they are no longer scrambling to retain workers, after several years of doing whatever it took to keep people on staff, according to the Wall Street Journal. Pay increases are slowing. For some jobs, hiring is getting easier. Executives are seizing on this moment to streamline operations or cut projects, shedding staff that until recently they couldn’t afford to lose.
Employers who felt they had less leverage in the tight labor market of the past couple of years now have more power in negotiations with employees. Many execs are enforcing in-office attendance mandates that previously were ignored by some staffers.
Since announcing a temporary ban on some kinds of meetings in early January, Shopify has deleted 12,000 events from employees’ calendars, freeing up 95,000 hours, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Considerable research shows the number of hours spent in meetings skyrocketed during the pandemic. Using data gathered from its suite of business software, Microsoft Corp. found the number of meetings a week attended by the average user of Microsoft Teams more than doubled from February 2020 to February 2022, while the amount of time spent in meetings more than tripled.
For too many salespeople, Monday morning and Friday afternoon are throwaway times. They might even think that no one wants to talk to them during these times. That’s wrong-headed thinking, according to sales author Mark Hunter:
“Friday afternoon phone calls are great, because many times there are people who I can never get a hold of during the week, but I can call them on a Friday afternoon,” Hunter said. “Monday mornings aren’t just great for conversations, but I can send out an email, and be at the top of the list. Think about it, people who don’t check email over the weekend — which emails do they look at first? The last ones that came in! It’s the same with voicemail.”
When salespeople are not meeting expectations, the common perception is that there’s a closing problem to be fixed, says Lee Salz, author of Sales Differentiation. Rarely is closing the issue, but rather a symptom of the real issue which is in the discovery phase of the sales process. When discovery is not handled properly, deals stall, price becomes the center point of decision making, and closing rates tank.
“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Grow Omaha University is sponsored by MyStaff Inc, a locally owned staffing firm whose purpose is helping Nebraska companies recruit for corporate office positions.
My Staff Inc – Our team helps you find yours!
Upcoming Events in the Metro
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Free Line Dancing Lessons every Thursday & Friday: Bushwackers is hosting dance lessons on Thursdays and Fridays! Come see what the FUN is all about. Learn the latest country line dance trends and the good ole’ oldies. Take over the dance floor with your friends and learn line dancing for free!
Fight: A Standup Show on February 3rd: Big Canvas Comedy is hosting another night filled with laughter. The comics will fight over wild and silly topics to see who can keep the laughter going. Come out to pick your favorite comedian!
First Friday on February 3rd: Love is ALWAYS in the air in the Benson Creative District! Show some love to all the restaurants, galleries, venues and shops that make Benson unique. Benson First Friday’s mission is to build community through arts engagement – come out and support this Friday!
DIY Greeting Card Workshops on February 4th and 5th: Looking to add a personalized touch to your greeting cards? Join Jennifer Young, of J.Diane Creations, in creating hand-cut and personalized greeting cards for special occasions, including Valentine’s Day! You will get all the supplies needed, light refreshments, and a chill vibe to create in.
Yoga in The Greenhouse on February 5th: Mulhall’s is bringing wellness into their space with yoga in the green house! This free class brings a natural feel and it’s free! After class, stick around for drinks and treats from local vendors.
Opera in Conversation: Inspiration, Process and Insights on February 7th: Opera in Conversation is a series of three sessions surrounding Opera Omaha mainstage productions that features creatives, scholars, and other public figures with a hope to foster cross-disciplinary exploration of art, big questions, and community connections. Join Opera Omaha on Tuesday, February 7 in exploring the Creative Inspiration, Process, and Insights for Opera Omaha’s production of Suor Angelica!
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
WoodmenLife has promoted Lisa Mascarello to director, third party administrator vendor relations. In this role, she oversees overall business and operational strategy for business process outsourcing. Mascarello joined WoodmenLife in 2021 as TPA account manager. Prior to WoodmenLife, she held various positions in TPA/vendor management and account management at SilverStone Group, Mutual of Omaha, HUB International, and Lincoln Financial Group.
Omaha Fire Chief Dan Olson will retire March 24th after 30years of service to the Omaha Fire Department. He joined the department in 1993 and has held command positions since 2007. Mayor Jean Stothert appointed Olsen as chief in 2016. The mayor will appoint a successor from within the Omaha Fire Department. Assistant Fire Chief John McCormick is also retiring this week.
Laura Zahn has been appointed vice president and actuary–financial planning and analysis at Mutual of Omaha. She joined Mutual in 2023. Before Mutual, she was with at Northwestern Mutual. Zahn received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a board member of the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation.
Foundation One Bank has promoted Molly Merrell to senior vice president-retail lending and CRA officer. She has more than 18 years of banking experience and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hastings College. She is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received a Certificate of Executive Leadership from the Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional and Executive Development.
Wall Street: The Week in Review
with George Morgan
The author is 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.
During the first few weeks of 2023, Mr. Market put on an epic display of his ability to swiftly transition from deep depression to full blown euphoria.
One way to gain insight into this phenomenon is to smash the Google button and revisit the parable of the four blind men and the elephant. For those of you haven’t been paying attention this epic tome, the moral of the aforementioned parable is that you cannot understand the nature of the whole beast by examining one of its parts.
Efforts to explain Mr. Market’s recent vacillations from the narrow focus of the value of the underlying companies are futile. A more efficient approach involves exploring the price of Tesla stock and the options market.
Both the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 are market-cap weighted, which means the stocks with the biggest market cap have the most influence over the index. Tesla is in the top 10 of both of these indexes. Unless you did a Rip van Winkle last year, you are aware that Tesla’s stock price has been all over the map. And, the reason for this wild ride includes not only the electric automobile market, but also the crazy machinations of its fearless leader, Elon Musk.
Now back to the options market: On Friday, 7.2 million options contracts on Tesla stock were traded. This represents 15% of all of the options traded that day: more than all the options traded on QQQ, Apple and Amazon combined. This amounts to approximately $700 million worth of options. Just to show you the speculative nature of this activity, the largest number of those options are betting that Tesla shares would reach $825 by next September. That’s a 400% increase from its current price of $170. By the end of 2022, Tesla shares had cratered 61% from their 2021 peak. Year to date they are up 27%. According to the Wall Street Journal, the buyers of those options have an evangelical belief in Tesla.
The push-back from academics and value investors is that activity in the options market has nothing to do with the stock market. NOT! Options, puts and calls and straddles and all of the other jibber jabber allow the options owners to buy or sell Tesla stock, which results in activity in Tesla stock unrelated to Tesla’s economic fundamentals.
As stated above, Tesla is a big component of both the NASDAQ and S&P 500 index. Movement of Tesla stock impacts the indexes which set a bunch of other forces in motion, which sets the rest of the stocks in the index in motion. Bottom line: forces that drive Mr. Market are many and varied.
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