Restaurant to close near Hanscom Park, neighbors seek development

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT)-- Richie’s Chicken on 35th and Center streets will shut down at the end of the year after decades of business.

Richie's Chicken to close in the Hanscom Park neighborhood, residents are hoping that other businesses don't stray and new ones come in.

People in the neighborhood are hoping that the loss of Richie’s won’t stop the future development of the area.

For Richie Huntzinger, this place is more than a restaurant, it’s a part of the family.

“My dad started this back in 1969, I took it over in 96 approximately. He passed away in 98, my mom died a couple of years ago so I’m just basically living in their shadow,” said Huntzinger.

Richie says he doesn’t own the building and it’s in need of repair, so he’ll move on.

Neighbors in this area would also like to move on, there’s been talk about redeveloping Center Street east of 36th Street.

The Hanscom Park neighborhood would like to see this area become more of a destination.

“What we see is to have a little business district like it used to be probably 50 60 years ago where there’s a coffee shop a breakfast place maybe a gift store,” said Amelia Rosser with the neighborhood association.

One of the first things neighbors would like to see is the removal of a lane on Center Street to make it more pedestrian-friendly.

“As it stands right now I mean the traffic moves really fast even with the pedestrian light I don’t feel comfortable walking up there with my son it makes me nervous,” said Rosser.

Discussions will continue about the future growth of this area, but neighbors are sad that Richie’s won’t be a part of it.

“We don’t want to leave behind any of the history that makes this area great,” said Rosser.