New businesses in Omaha neighborhood renews the area

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 4:22 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - We’ve seen it happen in Florence, Benson, Blackstone, and other pockets across the city.

Neighborhoods making comebacks as small businesses move in and renew the community.

One area that has been neglected for years is South 24th Street between Dodge and Leavenworth Streets but that is changing.

Small businesses are moving into the corridor, many of them specialty shops. The final touches on an apartment complex at 24th and Howard Street are underway.

Naughty Buddha Burger is a minority-owned business that features a vegan menu. It’s not the kind of business you’d expect to see here.

“Some people say why would you open there but we don’t want to be in a cookie-cutter community. We don’t want to be somewhere where it’s all laid out and so beautiful and perfect. This is perfect to us because it is a diverse community. You’re never going to have a dull moment that’s for sure,” said Owner, Fatiah Ali.

The business opened during the pandemic and the owner says business is brisk.

The Grove Juicery and Wellness Cafe at Farnam Street was one of the first specialty shops in the area. There are more than regular customers with hotels and apartment buildings going up nearby.

“When people are living in the neighborhood and out walking around, it’s easier to access the store with more neighbors,” said Manager, Levi Frerichs.

The unique look of the business caught the eye of photographer Renee Quevedo. She’s doing a fashion shoot for Four Sisters Boutique in Rockbrook Village at the cafe.

“We decided to come here because it’s so bright and honestly a breath of fresh air with the very modern vibe going on, so we like that as a backdrop when we’re shooting,” said Photographer, Quevedo.

It may only be a few blocks in a big city but more and more new stores are popping up here saying, “we’re open for business.”

“With the population growing we need to be able to go in and redo some of the buildings that might be a little bit lackluster needing repair, so I support this not just in this neighborhood but all over the city.”

Keep Omaha Moving is also working to improve the area. The city’s effort is looking at converting 24th Street to two-way traffic, improving sidewalks and bicycle accessibility, and more on-street parking.

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