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Restaurant & Retail Updates

Good Evans is opening a second Omaha location this summer just north of 204th & West Maple Road. The Kearney, Neb.-based restaurant brings “a more chef-inspired menu and vibe to breakfast and lunch.” The first Omaha location is at 74th & Pacific Street.

Reis’ Bakery is opening May 30th at 1314 South 119th Street in the former Cupcake Island space. The locally owned business will offer French and American baked items.

Solful has soft-opened at the Inner Rail Food Hall in Aksarben Village. The restaurant’s tagline is “food with purpose.” Solful sells four kinds of Argentine empanadas – beef, spicy beef, 3-cheese-onion and spinach.

Cibo Vino has opened in the former J’s on Jackson space at 1101 Jackson Street in the Old Market. The restaurant serves Italian inspired food and wine in an upscale atmosphere.

Fig., the new restaurant from the owners of Lola’s in Dundee located inside the Kiewit Luminarium, is adding dinner service on Thursday evenings. The Luminarium holds weekly adults-only programming on Thursday nights.

McDonald’s plans to build a restaurant in the North Streams development northeast of 204th & Q Street.

Smash Park has broken ground on its food-and-entertainment destination in La Vista’s Southport West area. Named as one of the 2023 Top 25 NextGen Casual Concepts by FSR Magazine, Smash Park Omaha will be located just east of Cabela’s and south of Embassy Suites. The venue will feature 30,000 sq. ft. of indoor food and entertainment space plus a 15,000 sq. ft. outdoor pickleball area.

The Iowa-based company has locations in West Des Moines, Iowa; Pella, Iowa and Roseville, Minn. In addition to food, beverage and pickleball, Smash Park will have a game arcade, roof-top deck, darts lounge, karaoke suite, axe-throwing area, duckpin bowling and an indoor cornhole area. Opening is planned for Spring 2024.

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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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The 38 Best Restaurants in Omaha!

By Sarah Baker Hansen

I give a lot of recommendations for restaurants, and people often ask me where they should eat. But this week, I’m writing about a recommendation someone gave me — well, kind of.

When I saw my friend Mike’l Severe tweeting photos of what looked like an amazing Mexican breakfast recently, I instantly added Primo’s Modern Mexican to my “try it” list.

A few weeks later, here we are, and after two visits to Primo’s, one for breakfast and a second for dinner, I can agree with Mike’l that breakfast is where this spot excels.

In the mornings, the Primo’s menu has a sort of Mexican diner vibe to it, pairing eggs all sorts of ways with warm tortillas and flavorful salsas next to sausage, bacon and home fries.

I liked Primo’s breakfast menu better than its dinner menu, which while fine, is the kind of Mexican food you can find at lots of Mexican-American restaurants around town. The breakfast pairings are less common.

I’ll get right into it with the huevos divorciados, which I really loved. The restaurant has a “lighter breakfast” menu, welcome to someone like me who can never finish a massive breakfast platter, and that’s where you’ll find this dish.

Two petite tortillas come warm and soft, topped with savory refried beans, eggs made your way — I chose poached — and then one topped with salsa roja and the other with salsa verde.

I often choose verde over roja when it comes to salsa, and this dish was no exception. I liked the tangy tomatillo the best, though the more deeply flavored roja is good here, too. Paired with a double caffeination situation of a hot coffee and an iced tea, this breakfast, which clocks in at just $5.99, is great.

Matthew went all in on the carne con huevos platter: two eggs, massive servings of cheese-topped refried beans and seasoned home fries, sausage and both corn and flour tortillas on the side.

Primo’s kitchen executes well on eggs, important in the morning. The just runny center of Matthew’s over medium is great for dipping tortillas; though I don’t think the home fries are homemade, they’re good, with a crisp exterior and a mild but flavorful seasoning. The pico de gallo, though, does seem homemade, and on a plate of rich Mexican food adds welcome brightness and acidity. Again, the price is hard to argue with: $8.99. No complaints.

I didn’t get a chance to talk to the restaurant’s owner — my messages went unanswered — but the restaurant website has a bit of family history. Three cousins, all part of the Rocha family, wanted to reinvent the recipes of their great grandparents, Luos and Carmen Rocha, Mexican immigrants who lived in Council Bluffs. (There’s also a location of Primo’s on the Iowa side of the river.) The family often gathered around home cooked Mexican food in the “south end” neighborhood of the Bluffs. In the 1950s, Johnny and Lupe Rocha converted a small house into the family’s first restaurant, The Taco House, which served Mexican family recipes and eventually closed in the 1980s.

The fourth generation of the Rocha family opened Primo’s in 2010, at 930 Fifth Ave. in Council Bluffs, where it still operates. A decade later, in 2020, co-owner Travis Taylor purchased the former Petrow’s building in Omaha, at 5914 Center St., revamped the inside and added a large patio to the west. The second location opened about a year later.

If you were ever inside Petrow’s, you’ll recognize the soda fountain at the front, but not much else. The inside has been totally revamped, with new seating and a new design. A circular bar at the back of the restaurant is open seating, and there’s a full bar with a menu of margaritas and other cocktails. Next time, if the weather allowed, I’d seek out a patio seat; it sure looks inviting.

We went back to Primo’s at the dinner hour, and tried two more platters. The design-your-own combo appealed to me, and I went with a shrimp street taco and a pork tamale, both fine. In the evening, seasoned potatoes are replaced with Mexican seasoned rice alongside the beans. I again found the pico de gallo to be a literal bright spot on the plate, enhancing everything I paired it with. The pork in the tamale was especially tender.

We also tried a trio of carne asada tacos with the same fixings; here, we found the meat a bit less tender.

As I write this morning, around 5:30 a.m., taking a second look at the Primo’s breakfast menu leads me to a whole laundry list of things I’d like to try: a bowl of canela oats, topped with hand-shaved cinnamon and berries; a carnitas benedict; chilaquiles and the decadent-sounding dulce de leche pancakes.

Sometimes, it’s the surprisingly simple and affordable that impresses. At Primo’s, that’s a good way to start the day.

Primo’s Modern Mexican
https://primosmodernmexican.com/

Omaha
5914 Center St.
402-322-8141

Council Bluffs
930 5th Ave
712-256-5200

Hours at both locations:
Sunday-Wednesday: 7am to 9pm
Thursday-Saturday: 7am to 10pm
Breakfast is served until 11am

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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Construction Beginning at 72nd & Dodge

Construction is set to begin this summer on the planned Omaha Central Public Library at the corner of 72nd & Dodge Street. The 96,000 sq. ft. building will be one of the largest investments in a public library system in the United States in recent years.

The City of Omaha and private donors are covering the project’s cost. The vision for this project is a collaboration by the City of Omaha, Omaha Public Library, Omaha Public Library Foundation, Do Space and Heritage Omaha.

The new library is designed to be a welcoming space that will provide access to information, services, programs and meeting and creative spaces. The design came from public input and guidance from staff members at Omaha Public Library and Do Space, as well as inspiration from the world’s best libraries.

The location at 72nd & Dodge Street was chosen in response to Omaha Public Library’s past facilities plans, which recommended a new central library to be built along the Dodge Street corridor between 72nd and 90th streets.

“This is a remarkable opportunity to build and operate one of the most innovative public libraries in the country, to increase and improve traditional library services and expand emerging technology,” said Mayor Jean Stothert. “The vision and commitment of our partners and donors makes this uniquely Omaha attraction possible, adding a learning destination to the commercial, residential, and entertainment revival underway at 72nd & Dodge.”

Prep work and deconstruction on the site is set to begin in late June, which will necessitate the temporary relocation of Do Space. The community technology library, which serves its more than 92,000 members, will be integrated into the new Omaha Central Public Library once construction is complete with a large, dedicated space on the second floor.

In the meantime, Do Space is moving into a renovated area of Milton R. Abrahams Branch of Omaha Public Library near 90th and Fort Street during construction. Leaders from Do Space and Omaha Public Library are using this opportunity to offer collaborative programming and to pilot new offerings for all their users in advance of the Omaha Central Public Library’s opening.

The collaboration between Do Space and Omaha Public Library at Abrahams Branch is also a preview of things to come. Once the Omaha Central Public Library is completed, Do Space will be integrated into the City of Omaha’s Omaha Public Library system, with the coordination of programs, services, and staff to better serve the community.

Do Space’s last day at 72nd & Dodge is planned for June 13th; it will reopen at the Abrahams Branch on June 17th. A grand opening celebration will follow on June 24.

The new Omaha Central Public Library is expected to open in 2026.

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. Check out our recent work at Fontenelle Forest HERE!

Grow Omaha Snippets

Grow Omaha Snippets Sponsored by:

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The Nebraska Unicameral passed a $5.3 billion budget last week. Several of the budget items were related to Omaha growth and development. $10 million has been allotted to help Sarpy County’s sewer expansion efforts, which will open more land to development. $20 million is earmarked for Metropolitan Community College to prepare workers in the event Nebraska lands a computer chip manufacturing plant. $30 million will go to Creighton University to help pay for a new health sciences building as well as baseball fields that would be used by both the university and College World Series teams.

A developer is planning to build the Bungalows on Honeysuckle on a 23.59-acre site at 1999 Veterans Drive in the Elkhorn area. This planned unit development would have 256 multi-family housing units.

Omaha ranks #16 on Glassdoor’s list of the top cities with the most satisfied workers. To determine which cities have the most satisfied workers, Glassdoor analyzed average ratings for workers by city and ranked the top 25 cities in America. Provo, Utah was #1. The only other city in our region to make the list was Minneapolis at #21.

The City of Omaha officially opened its new downtown branch library last weekend in a 2-story, brick building at 1401 Jones Street. The 121-year-old building was once home to the David Cole Creamery Co. before being used as a warehouse for many decades.

Union Pacific’s famed Big Boy No. 4014, the 1940’s-era steam locomotive that carried equipment over the Rocky Mountains during World War II, will be on display in Omaha during the College World Series. The world’s largest steam locomotive can be viewed at Union Pacific’s “Home Plate” adjacent to Charles Schwab Field June 15-21 and 24-25 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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:

Nebraska’s unemployment rate is now at 2 percent, which ties the state’s historic low. Only South Dakota has a lower unemployment rate at 1.9 percent. Nevada has the highest rate at 5.4 percent. The national average is 3.4 percent.

Workshop is moving its office to the second floor of the Ashton Building in Millwork Commons. Renovations are underway, and the fast-growing marketing company plans to occupy the space late this year. Workshop was founded in 2020 and now has 30 employees.

Scoular has acquired Northwest Farm Food Cooperative’s frozen fish processing facility in Burlington, Wash. The facility upcycles fish trimmings by processing them into frozen fish ingredients for pet food manufacturers.

Los Angeles World Airports has selected an HDR-led team to provide program management and construction management services for the $1 billion landside portion of its transformative Airfield and Terminal Modernization Project. The modernization will add a new terminal, concourse and airfield upgrades as well as a new elevated roadway system and numerous roadway improvements.

Werner Enterprises will participate in two June investment conferences: UBS Global Industrials and Transportation Conference June 6th in New York; and the 2023 Wells Fargo Industrials Conference June 13th in Chicago.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and Union Pacific Railroad this week announced a tentative agreement that enhances the quality of life for Union Pacific’s locomotive engineers by making it possible for them to have more predictable schedules. It also will enable the railroad to better manage staffing levels, which supports more consistent and reliable service.

The tentative agreement provides locomotive engineers with an 11-days-on, 4-days-off schedule. Union Pacific said it expects to make meaningful progress implementing the new work/rest schedules within a year of ratification.

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

LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT

Success Tip – Identify talented people and build relationships with them. An old saying tells us: “You become the sum of your five best friends.” Spending time with exceptional people makes you more exceptional.

Research by MentorcliQ shows 91 percent of mentees say mentorship enhanced their competency in one or more areas they worked on. Most mentorship advice focuses on what you should to be a good mentor, according to HubSpot, but here’s what you should do to be a good mentee: 1. Practice active listening; 2. Take the initiative; 3. Be open minded; 4. Be open about your struggles; 5. Show your gratitude; 6. Set clear goals; 7. Be patient; 8. Share your wins; 9. Make time; and 10. Choose your mentor wisely.

More than half of workers in a recent poll ranked starting a new job as scarier than skydiving or holding a snake, according to the Wall Street Journal.

According to a Fed survey, 35 percent of adults said they were worse off financially in 2022 than a year earlier. That’s the highest on record going back to 2014, when the question was first asked. Overall, 73 percent of adults said they were either doing okay or living comfortably, down from 78 percent in 2021.

SALES

According to Brevet, 92 percent of all customer interactions happen over the phone. Telephone prospecting is not going away.

I once watched an outstanding pool player at a bar. He could sink unbelievable shots, but his best skill was setting up the next shot at the end of the current one. Sales pros need to think the same way – each sale should set up the next. No sale is made in a vacuum. Keep gathering information and building the relationship.

WISDOM

“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” –Ray Kroc

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?

Upcoming Events in the Metro

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Night Market on May 26th: The 6th Annual Night Market is returning to Turner Park the last Friday of the month from May through August! Join others and immerse yourself in a vibrant world filled with activities and attractions suitable for anyone. You’ll be able to explore the Vendor Village, containing an array of over 40 local makers and boutiques, while enjoying the live music, games, and entertainment. You can expect performances by Omaha Street Percussion, the Polka Police, and many more. There will be plenty of treats and refreshing beverages from the acclaimed restaurants in the Midtown Crossing neighborhood for you to enjoy throughout the event!

Patriotic Parade & Concert on May 27th: The 3rd Annual Patriotic Parade will highlight the Nation’s Tuskegee Airmen with a free exhibit along the Gene Leahy Mall and a P51c Mustang airplane! Over 40 members of the USMC’s Marching Band from New Orleans will march on Omaha’s streets and perform in the free concert immediately following the parade. Join others in honoring the fallen military while celebrating America.

Night Sky at Lauritzen Gardens on May 27th: Embark on an otherworldly adventure as the Omaha Astronomical Society invites you to gaze upon the celestial wonders at Lauritzen Gardens. Prepare to be transported to the depths of the cosmos in an exclusive program where you’ll experience the sky in a whole new way using telescopes. This event will focus on the first quarter moon and the spring constellations. Pre-registration is required to secure a spot!

Omaha Burger Battle on May 27th: Omaha’s top grill masters will be representing their local neighborhood and fighting to the finish as they battle it out for best burger in the city. Each competitor will be providing 2 oz. gourmet sliders with up to five toppings for you to judge. The winner will be crowned with the esteemed title of ‘Omaha Burger Battle’ first place winner and holder of the area’s best burger. Come out to help determine the best burger while enjoying the live music and lawn games!

Wicked Omaha Walking Tour on May 28th: Join local author and historian Ryan Roenfeld in an intimate walking tour of old Omaha! The city has changed drastically over the years and very few landmarks are left. Districts have evolved into entirely different experiences that most are unaware of! This experience will give you a deeper appreciation and perspective of Downtown Omaha. Join others in learning the evolution of Omaha and exploring what remains today!

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

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digital rendering of Flatiron District project buildings
Brent Pohlman, CEO of Omaha-based Midwest Laboratories, has written a new book, Leaders Look Within: Own Your Heart to Live a Life of Gratitude. Pohlman’s book helps “you understand what’s in your heart to help you unleash the true leader spirit inside you.” Details HERE.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska has named Jeff Russell as president & CEO effective June 26th, replacing the retiring Steve Grandfield, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Since 2013, Russell has served as president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa.

WoodmenLife has appointed Wilbur Jenkins as senior vice president & Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining the organization, Jenkins served as senior vice president of operations and business transformation at Argo Group and vice president of countrywide operations for Hartford Financial Services Group.

New Street Properties, an Omaha-based real estate firm, has appointed Tim Langan as Chief Operating Officer and Lori Meisgeier as controller. Langan was previously president of Investors Realty. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and a law degree from the University of Nebraska. Meisgeier is a graduate of Wayne State College and has more than 20 years of finance and accounting experience in the real estate industry.

Classical 90.7 KVNO, one of 55 classical radio stations in America, has promoted its current station manager, Sherry Brownrigg, to general manager effective July 1st. Brownrigg is a veteran radio host, music director and program director. KVNO began broadcasting from the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus on Aug. 27, 1972 and recently celebrated 50 years on air.

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

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.

Mr. Market and Wall Street are not one in the same. Wall Street is a financial services industry, and Mr. Market is a place where buyers and sellers meet. When buyers and sellers come together, they must establish a price that both agree upon for the transaction to be completed.

In the case of the stock market, the physical place where the buyers and sellers come together is called an exchange.

Twenty years ago, 90 percent of all stock transactions were completed on the New York Stock Exchange. Eleven years ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission decided that the New York Stock Exchange needed more competition and bing-bata-boom, 12 new exchanges sprung up across the Hudson River in New Jersey. The rationale behind this location was to place the exchange computers as close as possible to the price reconciliation computer at the NYSE.

The conventional stock the market operates between 9:30AM and 4:00PM Eastern. That’s when the bulk of transactions are completed. There is, however, a limited aftermarket where professional money managers can make transactions in response to news items that appear after the regular market close.

It was recently announced that Robin Hood, an upstart brokerage firm that caters to hyperactive day-trading individuals, is opening a 24-hour market operation. It is unclear how this market will function.

Hypothetical question: suppose that a 30 something in the middle of the night decides that Tesla is going to hell in a handbasket and offers to buy it at a 30 percent discount from its NYSE closing price. Who’s going to sell it to him and how will it be reconciled with the price recorded on the official exchanges?

Moral of the story: the stock market is not static. It’s always changing. Some of the changes will satisfy the investing public while others – to paraphrase Buffett – will turn into boo-boo.

We are entering the dog days of summer, and historically, the market becomes like watching paint dry. Many of the big guys on Wall Street head to the beach Thursday afternoon and don’t come back until the middle of the morning on Monday. As a result, trading slows down and market movement becomes lethargic.

But, it’s critical to never forget that Mr. Market will do what he wants and he could give a rip about the calendar. Beware the sleeping bear. This is an observation, not a prediction. Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls!!

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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!

Know of someone else who wants to receive this newsletter? Have them send their name and email address to news@growomaha.com!