The one thing that this recent flurry of activity has taught me is that there are many places that I don't know, have never known, or have missed or overlooked.
Here are the ones mentioned which I know almost or absolutely nothing about. I'm very sure I missed some great dining opportunities.
(In order of first appearance in the comments ...)
- Harry's Steak House
- Harkerts Holsum Hamburgers
- Reed's Ice Cream
- Royal Dairy Ice Cream Bar
- Marshall's Drive-In
- The Ritz
- Saddle Creek Drive In
- Henry's Hamburgers
- Charlie's Blue Room
- Lou Caniglia's Steakhouse on 88th & Maple
- Luigi's Restaurant on 114th & W. Dodge Road.
- Brown Cow
- Italian Gardens
- Ceasar's Garden
- Chik n burger
- Slim Jim
- Riveria Club
- Long and Slims
- Chops Cafe
- Pizza Oven
- The Mayflower
- Hollywood ice cream
- Benny Davis
- Garden Cafeteria
- Club Cafe
- Black Angus
- (restaurant in the shopping center at 42nd and Center)
That's quite a list! I'm feeling humbled. I'm sure I really missed some great food and great times!
However, there are quite a few I do know and remember ...
>HOW ABOUT SADDLE CREEK DRIVE IN & NIFTY BAR &
>GRILL BOTH HOLY NAME HANG OUTS
I know the Nifty Bar. I think it's still there, but I don't get to that area very often. Don't know about Saddle Creek Drive In, but I did find some references to another drive-in at the junction of Saddle Creek and Cuming, name of Shada's. I wonder if this is the same one.
>So many memories...........how about Lay's Arbor
>Inn (90th and Arbor),
I don't know that one, but a friend of mine sure does, and she tells me that it was tres elegante in its time!
>Brother Sebastians (120th and Pacific),
It's still there, going strong as far as I know, recovered from a fairly significant fire a number of years ago.
>Caniglia's Venice Inn (69th and Pacific, with
>Davey Boldnose on the Piano),
I don't know Davey, but I sure know Venice Inn. :) The sole survivor of the family, and one I admit that we need to visit more frequently.
>The Dundee Dell,
The Dundee Dell I remember was on Dodge between 49th. and 50th., just west of the Dundee Theater.
They moved a few years ago (why???) to Underwood, just west of 50th.
The old location is open and apparently thriving under a different name.
I have some photos of the old and new locations on this page:
>Wasn't Nasser's spelled Nasr's???
Uh-huh, it sure was. Ames, maybe 66th. or so, south side of the street.
>the various cafeterias at the Brandeis stores,
The one I remember was out at the Crossroads, upper level. I used to work in the area and we would occasionally do lunch there.
>I think Frank of Frankie and Phyls died last year.
>Never got there, until we read about it in the paper
>we didn't know it was there but it sounded good.
That's too bad! :(
F&P's was not the nicest looking place there was, but the food was very good and had some dishes that I never saw elsewhere. It was a true "dive" and I think it would have been an excellent choice for Guy Whatshisname to visit on DD&D.
>Took them to the old Cascios
An excellent choice. Again, one we need to patronize and support.
>Tiner's Drive In was at 44th & Dodge
>And Tiner's had the best curly-cue fries I ever ate.
Tiner's has to be one of the most frequently-mentioned place in this thread.
It appears that Tiner's, the original Todd's, and Oddo's were the prime hang-outs in the heyday of the drive-in era.
On the site of Tiner's is another to-be-legendary Omaha eatery, King Kong. This has now expanded to at least 3 locations. They feature enormous hamburgers, a very good weekly steak special, and various Greek specialties. ("No jy-ro, geeeeeear-o!") :)
>Ross's steakhouse, I seem to remember that
>restaurant did not allow black people back
>in the 50's. So, as far as I'm concerned,
>they don't deserve any praise.
I don't know how to answer that one.
I would hope that segregation and racism in general, and any other cases where we treat others as unequal, would be a sad part of our past, and a lesson learned as to how not to live in the future.
However, I know that vestiges of racism and other forms of discrimination still exist today. We are still a very unequal society.
That comment got me thinking, and doing some checking. I've always thought that Omaha, being in the "nawth", would have been more progressive. However, it appears that defacto segregation was alive in Omaha into the 1960s. :(
A factoid I learned was that the old Peony Park had a whites only policy until the early 1960s, and even tried some legal sleight of hand tricks to keep it that way! :(
I found two stories regarding the integration of Peony Park. From what I heard it was not until one of the area's major employers threatened to pull some significant business that they officially changed the policy. I know that it was integrated, with no obvious reminders of its past, when I went there in the 1970s and 1980s.
Another story had to do with some demonstrations and activism, which pressured the park's management to integrate. If you Google, you'll find several references to the park being fined $50 for one case of discriminatory admission.
>About Rose Lodge...It is long gone but not
>forgotten,, The cool (Judy) has had a place in
>Traynor Iowa that sserves the same menu.....Mrs
>Rose retired and passed away in Fla years ago.
>My mother worked there for 45 years
The trek to Treynor is a trip to be taken! Of all of the chicken I've ever eaten, I think Rose Lodge was the best. Several others were close. Jonesy's is one. Dixie Kitchen was another, but since it was a stone's throw from Rose Lodge ...
One of the more memorable comments in this thread comes from about as close to the source as we can get, from "LouCan":
>I am one of the third generation of the Caniglia
>family and I was practically born in one of our
>restaurants. I worked with my family at the
>original Caniglia's on 7th, Mr. C's, Caniglia's
>World (top of the Woodmen),
And we probably crossed paths several times. All of those were excellent!
>Lou Caniglia's Steakhouse on 88th & Maple and
>Luigi's Restaurant on 114th & W. Dodge Road.
Try as I might, I do not remember either of these. The only one I remember on Maple in about that vicinity (other than Denny's of course) was Jonesy's, another great chicken place.
>I also remember the Palazzo Italiano from when I
>was a very young boy. The reason that restaurant
>closed was that the city decided to close and
>widen both Center St. and 84th St. at the same
Thanks for the update on this. I was wondering what the story was.
>I really miss all of my family's restaurants but
>I am proud of my cousins at the Venice Inn and
>Piccolo's for continuing the tradition!
(I didn't know that Piccolo's was part of your family!) :)
You and your family do have something to be proud of!
>Does anyone remember the Old English Inn that
>was on or around 5oth and Dodge---not sure about
The story I got on this one was that it was originally in Dundee, and then either moved or opened up a second restaurant in Countryside Village, the shopping center by Westside High. That one also closed decades ago. As per a previous comment, I understand that the ownership and/or management was common with Northrup-Jones, the diner downtown.
>There was also a restaurant on Dodge that served
>prime rib that was great! Oh---I just thought of
>it's name--Hilltop House!
Uh-huh, been there, done that, once. :)
>Evans ice cream was a big favorite of my family.
>& Evans Ice Cream for its "goop" sundaes.
Evans is another with multiple fans on this thread.
Now that you mention Evans, I also vaguely recall, in the 1970s, kind of hole in the wall greaso-spoono restaurant to the east of Evans which had surprisingly good ribs.
>What aboutr Goldberg's
>I don't know what Goldbergs is----
Goldbergs is a small chain of what I would call burger bars. The original, IIRC, is the one at 132nd. and Center. They have another in Dundee, and had one out on 156th. for a while.
>Anybody remember Club 89?
/me waves hand. :)
>The same owner had another place, Club 64
>in Council Bluffs
I remember both. However, I was not aware that they were connected. I also remember a short-lived club and restaurant right by Club 64 known as "The Other Place", an appropriate name. :)
>but I think both places closed when the casinos
>came in. What a shame.
Ya know, I really question whether the casinos are truly at fault when a business, such as a long-standing restaurant, closes and cites competition from the casinos as the reason for the failure.
The reason I don't think this passes the "smell test" is the plethora of very successful restaurants right in the vicinity of the three casinos. Granted, these are mostly highly formulaic places, but they obviously do compete for disposable dollars with the casinos, and are all apparently thriving right in their shadows.
I think the answer may be along the line of the businesses being "on the edge" at the time, and the casino openings being either a convenient excuse to close, or the proverbial last straw.
Hey, restaurants are often times short-lived. For an independent place to make it a year, it has to be great, and for it to make it for a few decades it must be exceptional! One slip in the quality or service and word spreads quickly, and it takes an awful long time to recover, if it ever does.
It's a business I would never want to be in. I have a great deal of respect for those who run the restaurants, particularly those independent places we've been talking about. I also have a great deal of respect for those who work in them, who cook for us, and who serve us. Those are often times thankless jobs and they deserve far more respect (and con$ideration) than they get.
>And, as far as I remember, Club 89 burned down.
I seem to recall this too.
>How about Bishop's Buffet?
>We both miss the original King's & Bishop's cafeteria.
I really can't remember when or why Bishop's closed. I know they priced their selections ala carte, and in the 1980s we had a number of AYCE buffets, such as Duff's, The Choice, and eventually Golden Corral invade the area. It may be that the business model of Bishop's did not survive the competition.
As for King's, I considered Kings to be several notches up on the quality scale when compared to other hamburger places. Kings is the only place I remember, ever, where you ordered by telephone.
>Gorat's is definitely the best steak house in
>town - LOVE it!!
I love it too, and so does Warren B. :)
>Thank you for this trip down memory lane. I
>thoroughly enjoyed it!
You're very welcome! I am positively astounded by the amount of traffic I've seen over the past week or so, most of it hitting the "Forgotten Cuisine" article directly. I have a feeling that this has "gone viral", as the hits seem to increase more and more long since the original item hit Bunny Net. ("And the hits just keep on comin'!) :)
>And how did you forget the Cafe de Paris.
>That was real class.
Oh, I didn't forget it, it just wasn't an Italian steak house. I don't think that particular type of cuisine was Ivan's style. :)
>On West Maple, there was also a restaurant called
>The Tommahawk which I thought was a Caniglia
>restaurant. Also a restaurant called Jonesy's.
I don't remember anything named Tomahawk, but I sure remember Jonesy's Dinner Den, which lasted until into the 2000s, IIRC.
>On Dodge Street at about 44th +/- there was a
>restaurant called The Mediterranian.
The place I remember called the Mediterranean was a short-lived place in the food court in the short-lived "new" mall in and across from the old main Brandeis store downtown. Maybe they had a second location (or even a first) on Dodge.
>On 44th & Center Street, there was North's
>Chuckwagon Buffet and at 45th & Center there was
Oh yes, I remember both of them. Paltani's was great! North's was, well, uh, very unmemorable. Sorry, I thought it was tres ordinaire.
>El Charro and Howard's El Charro.
I don't really know what happened to El Charro.
>Howard's El Charro, is the one who operates out
>of the Marchio's building.
I seem to recall hearing that they closed. I'm not really sure, don't quote me on that.
>Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
You're very welcome, I've enjoyed this. :)
>but didn't see any reference to the Fireside
>& Pirate's Den near 38th & Leavenworth. Great
>prime rib and fabulous buffet (all you can eat
>for $2.39) back in the early 70's.
Was the Fireside in the building that I know as the Marylebone?
>The Fireside Restaurant (with the Pirates
>Den in the lower level) on 38th and Leavenworth
>closed in 1975
Now you kind of jogged my rusty memory. I vaguely remember a stairwell with a facade in the form of a ship, leading down into the cellar of that building.
>Before that it was the 11-Worth Grill and catered
>to hockey fans from the Omaha Knights.
>Dan and Ralph Cohen were the original owners. My
>name is Alan Cohen and Dan Cohen was my father.
Welcome, Alan. I'm glad to have restaurateur families represented here. :) That makes two who have come forward and spoken up.
Do we have any others here?
>Does anybody remember the B&G Drive-In and
>Romanoff's near Varly drug store?
I don't remember Romanoff's, but I do remember B&G, although it's no longer a drive-in. It's one I need to get back to, because the times I've been in there I've most definitely enjoyed it. I think I prefer the B&G version of the Tavern to that of Maid-Rite.
>Don't you wish that we could go back and eat
>at some of these places?
Hello? Dr. Brown? May I borrow your DeLorean? :)
I promise I won't give Biff the keys! :)
I would even settle for the steam engine model if I could take another trip back to Cantoni's! :)
>Ah yes Oddo's, and Fat Man's Hamburgers.
I never remember either of them, but Oddo's (I now understand that it's pronounced with a long "O") is one that fascinates me.
>The greatest burger name, however is from Oddo's-- the
>Pookeesnackinburger. thanks for the nostalgia!!
ROFL! Somebody on the staff there had an incredible sense of humor, and I'm sure that in the 50s and 60s that place was a major hit, right out of American Graffiti!
When I was researching the original item I wrote, I looked over old phone books and newspaper ads and stumbled upon that one. I think I laughed so loud that I attracted the attention of the staff at the downtown libe.
>thanks for the nostalgia!!
Oh, you're very welcome. :)
>the precursor of the Bohemian Cafe ... was
>Chops Cafe...just a block east of the current
I wonder if that's of the same ownership as Chops Bowling, which is still operating.
>Love your Blog, brings back so many childhood memories.
>Can remember so many of those places and the great food
Thanks for the comments. They are appreciated, and the original article has garnered far more comments than anything else I've done here. I'm really glad that everyone finds this of interest! :) Please keep those cards and letters coming, gang! :)
>What about Shoney's on 73/75 and Shakee's same area.
I think of both as chains.
Shoney's being a spin-off of the Big Boy group, and Shakee's (Shakey's?) being a pizza chain that I don't think has been around for some time.
Shoney's vacated the Omaha area sometime in the 1990s. They were in Kansas City after they left Omaha, but soon pulled out of there as well. On my last trip to Jaw-Ja, a few years ago, they were alive and well there.
>Barnes famous drive with the foot long chili
>dogs and curly cue fries! Great food! I think
>they were on 10th street or in that area, maybe
>down from Chops Bowling Alley.
The drive-in that was down from Chops Bowling was Oddo's, and I stumbled on the site as I was doing a photo walk-through of the 13th. St. area about a year ago. This item is on line here:
>How about Pizza Oven where lansky's is now located/
I remember Lansky's, but not Pizza Oven. I think I've seen another Lansky's location quite recently.
>Kenny's Steak House on the corner of 72 and Dodge
I remember Kenny's, I remember eating there, and enjoying it.
I seem to recall that it closed during a construction project at the intersection, which either interrupted their traffic flow, encroached on their property, or both.
>Beaton Drug's fountain counter.
The soda fountain is another genre which I used to enjoy. When I was growing up, almost every drug store had one. Most of the neighborhood ones served mostly treats such as malteds, sodas, egg creams, sundaes and the like, while others served more hot food, burgers, sandwiches, even Blue Plate Specials.
The ones I remember around Omaha are (were) Powers, downtown, which served fountain fare and hot food, the Rexall at 40th. and Farnam which had a similar menu, and Cris, at 50th. and Dodge which IIRC was fountain specialties only.
Today, the closest ones I know of are in Springfield, Ne, and a place in Hamburg, Iowa named, and no, I am not making name this up, Stoner Drugs. :)
I have a couple photos of the latter in this item here:
>Also, fondue was good at the Golden Apple, near 88th & W. Dodge.
Yes, thanks for reminding me of this. Late 1970s, IIRC. A very nice Saturday "date night" place.
>New Tower (78th & Dodge) and the Prom Town
>House (70th & Dodge).
Yes, the Crystal Tree and the Fish Pier West. (Their logo had the "S" in "fish" backwards.)
The Crystal Tree had a very good lunch buffet for a while.
>Kaufmann's had the best (and most expensive)
>pastries in town (about 39th & Farnam).
Bakeries are another yummy topic! I agree that the best in the city was Kaufmann's, with Martin's being a close second. Martin's lasted until last year in the new location out on west Maple.
>Dixie Kitchen -- where was it?
Dixie Kitchen was on Dodge, in the shadow of Rose Lodge, in one of the strip malls nearby. I think their proximity to the former was a major handicap in their success.
>Also, where was the Blue Ox?
I never ate at the Blue Ox. (Bleu Ox?) I remember the building and sign, closed, on north 30th. a few blocks north of Dodge. I also remember another Blue Ox or Bleu Ox in Council Bluffs near the Mall Of The Bluffs, but I think that was short-lived.
>And the Ground Cow?
The Ground Cow (my vote for the absolute WORST name for a restaurant) that I remember was just off Fort (maybe Maple?) out just west of route 680. They were originally on south 72nd. either in the same building or very close to the old Boston Sea Party.
>What was the restaurant on the southwest
>corner of 72nd & Pacific a few decades ago?
I knew this briefly as the Aquarius Lounge, a disco type club, then Pogo's Electric Cowboy, trying to cash in on the Urban Cowboy craze, and then an appliance shop.
However, when I researched the 72nd. Street "Strip" for the original article I saw some ads for something like "Angelo's Studio Inn" (name may not be exact) in the same building. This was well before my time and I didn't include it in the original item.
Anyway, gang, I am enjoying this! Please continue to comment and share your thoughts and feelings! :)
Thanks again, gang! :)