When the artists moved out of a 124-year-old warehouse in Omaha, a restaurant moved in. The Old Mattress Factory Bar and Grill, under restoration now, will open in the two-story building in November.
“Watching it transform into the bar and grill has been fascinating, and it will hopefully be a popular destination for Omaha residents and visitors as well,” Jenny Peters, spokesperson for the investors, said in an e-mail.
The 16,000-square-foot building began as a 3,500-square-foot grocery store in 1883, when Omaha was still a growing railroad town. Stabrie Grocery closed in 1894, and several bars and saloons inhabited the building until 1915, when the building became a wholesale grocer's warehouse. The Central Mattress Co. occupied the building from 1945 to 2001, when it housed an art studio.
Its new owners, local investors, hope to get the building listed on the National Register, which would help finance the $1.8 million project with tax credits. A hearing with the state historic preservation office is scheduled for Sept. 21.
"There is a surge of redevelopment in urban areas across the nation that have been neglected since the 1960s, especially in the Midwest," says architect Chris Jansen of Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture, which is overseeing the project.
The restaurant will have a warehouse look. "The building will keep its heavy timber framing and masonry, and even the original signage will remain," Jansen says. - Leah Webster