Tag Archives: CWS

Yeti or Not, it’s Father’s Day!

June 14, 2018 by
Photography by College World Series of Omaha, Inc. (provided)

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Father’s Day Weekend: We know there’s a lot you can do with your dad (or mom) this weekend, so we’re just going to give you some ideas and let you take it from there.
Most obviously, it’s opening weekend of the CWS, and Friday kicks things off with a bang. Literally. It’s a full day of free fun, with entertainment culminating in an epic fireworks display. Or if you want to make sure dad knows you’re willing to spend some cash on him, sign him up for the Omaha Baseball History Tour.
Maybe your dad just isn’t that into baseball, though. In that case, Fontenelle Forest is offering a little relief from the heat with a Constellation Walk in Neale Woods on Friday, starting at 8:30 p.m.
If your dad’s more of a horror buff than a baseball fanatic, take him on a creepy, Paranormal Tour of Omaha. There are several to choose from.
For brainy dads, The Compassion Experience at St. Andrew’s UMC is an interactive experience that’s going on all weekend. Take some time to learn about how children live in underdeveloped countries. It’s educational, free, and family-friendly.
Besides giving your dad a relief from grilling and maybe taking him out to eat this Sunday, you can also take him to Father’s Day at the Museum at SAC, where dads get in free all day.
As usual, remember to make a reservation ahead of time. It may not be Mother’s Day brunch, but your favorite restaurant can still fill up quickly.
Hope we’ve given you some ideas to make your Father’s Day the best yet! Keep reading for even more ideas.

Pick of the Week: Friday, June 15 to Sunday, June 17 (Father’s Day):  Continuing that Father’s Day theme, we give you yet another incredible option. But there’s so much going on at the North Omaha Block Party we can’t possibly put it all in here. So here’s a condensed rundown: a three-on-three basketball tournament, a mini music festival, a burlesque Josephine Baker Tribute, and the Juneteenth Youth Art Festival. Not to mention the pop-ups, fashion, performances, workshops, and of course a farmers market, that will be happening throughout the weekend. To get the full preview, just click here.

Thursday, June 14: Revel in the darkness at Beautiful Decay tonight at the Lookout Lounge. This dark dance party will bring you all the music you need to truly get your freak on. The songs featured this round will be ones that capture the implicit beauty of eventual degeneration, deterioration, and decay—the three Ds necessary for a genuine Goth dance party. Read more here. If you want. I don’t really care. (Please read more.)

Saturday, June 16: Are you having dog problems? If you started nodding your head or immediately looked in the general direction of your beloved as they sit there chewing on your sock, get to Can You Hear Me Now? Free Dog Behavior Workshop. Let David Codr share his knowledge of dog behavior and psychology with you. For free! A 30-minute workshop will be followed by a Q&A session where you can ask your own dog-related question. Please feel free to bring the children, as there will also be a workshop for young ones on proper doggie etiquette. Learn more and RSVP here.

Sunday, June 17: If you are at all into vintage or just fashion in general, you need to head to Babe Camp Vintage Fashion Market at Scout in Dundee. Well, technically to the enclosed parking lot behind Scout. This fashion-fest starts at noon and lasts until 6 p.m., but you can get first dibs if you pay for the early entry at 10 a.m. However, if you’re a gambler and feel like taking a risk, just head there when the mood strikes. Entrance is free after noon. Stomp on over here for more deets.

Obviously Omaha

May 25, 2017 by
Photography by Contributed

Food and drink are an important part of summertime festivals and cultural events. Celebrations across Omaha’s diverse communities ensure a wide selection of new and interesting things to try. Here are a few options to explore.

Dancers at Omaha’s beloved South Omaha festival

Cinco de Mayo
May 5-7
South 24th Street, from D to L streets

Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s victory at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1962, during the Franco-Mexican War. But in the United States, the holiday has become a general celebration of Mexican culture. Chalupas—small tortillas lightly fried and topped with salsa, onion, and shredded chicken or beef—are a common dish in Puebla. During the festivities in South Omaha, there will also be plenty of tacos, tortas, and other treats (Mexican ice cream, horchata, and specialty drinks). 
cincodemayoomaha.com

Taste of Omaha provides food choices for everyone.

Taste of Omaha
June 2-4
Heartland of America Park and Lewis & Clark Landing

Taste of Omaha is a must-try on the city’s culinary calendar. The three-day food and entertainment extravaganza celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2017. Taste’s smorgasbord gives people a chance to try foods from India, various parts of Africa, Japan, Mexico, and elsewhere, along with several local farm-to-fork options. Taste of Omaha’s signature alcoholic drink, “River Breeze,” is made from coconut-flavored vodka mixed with cranberry and pineapple juices.
showofficeonline.com/TasteHome

Cool off on a hot summer’s night with Italian gelato

Santa Lucia Festival
June 8-11
Lewis & Clark Landing

Founded in 1925 by Grazia Bonafede Caniglia, this festival emulates the traditions of the Santa Lucia Festival in Carlentini, Sicily. Italian food is one of the festival’s highlights. Favorites include sausage or meatball sandwiches and Sicilian-style pizza by the Pizza Boys of Santa Lucia. Pasta lovers can carb-load on fried ravioli, mostaccioli, and much more.
santaluciafestival.com

Shaved ice is a favorite among kids at Omaha Summer Arts Festival

Omaha Summer Arts Festival
June 9-11
Farnam Street, 10th to 15th streets

Gator on a stick, anyone? In addition to traditional festival favorites—cotton candy, funnel cakes, and fresh-squeezed lemonade—the Summer Arts Festival also boasts seafood dishes, noodle bowls, and other foods to satisfy artistically inspired hunger. Snow cones help kids cool down, while adults can enjoy watermelon/grapefruit shandy, vanilla cream ale, black cherry hard soda, or a hard sparkling water.
summerarts.org

Take us out to the ball games, where you can chow down on traditional favorites as well as unique eats.

College World Series
June 16-27/28
TD Ameritrade Park

Each year brings new treats to Omaha’s favorite baseball event. Last year’s lineup of concession offerings at CWS included foot-long taquitos for $18; “mangia fries,” french fries coated in Italian seasoning and topped with cheese sauce, pepperoni, banana peppers, and diced tomatoes; and the “Reuben sausage,” a tubular version of Omaha’s favorite deli meat topped with sauerkraut and dressing served in a pumpernickel bun. Starting in 2016, the NCAA allowed beer and wine sales at the event. Cheers!
cwsomaha.com

Pack a picnic and come to the green for theatrics, and theater.

Shakespeare on the Green
June 22-July 9 (weekends)
Elmwood Park

Nebraska Shakespeare is putting on dinner and a show with its annual Shakespeare on the Green. Several local food trucks will dish up their fare at this free event. In true Shakespeare fashion, pizza vendors will have a variety of cleverly named dishes relating to the night’s performance. This event allows spectators to pack their own picnics, including beer or wine if desired.
nebraskashakespeare.com

This article appears in the May/June 2017 edition of Omaha Magazine.

Argent Jewelry

June 21, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Matt Powell of Perspective Jewelry freely admits he didn’t purposefully or strategically branch out his fine jewelry business into a new genre. He was, however, quick to recognize its potential.

“The sports stuff is something that we just sort of fell into,” he says. “We developed a cool product, there was customer demand for it, it lent itself to this kind of thing, and we’ve just taken off and ran with it.”

Powell’s unintentionally sporty but apt metaphor illustrates how, in just a few years, Perspective Jewelry has added an entire sub-business—Argent Sports—featuring officially licensed NCAA and College World Series custom jewelry pieces.

“We’re kind of on the fringe market in that we’re on the high-end side. We fit that alumni crowd, the more affluent, luxury-box crowd,” Powell says, explaining that his clients generally have long-held “institutional attachment” that becomes part of their identity, and they’re looking for lasting, high-quality jewelry to reflect that. “So we have product that ranges in retail price from, say, $75 to $2,000. That puts us at the very high-end of the licensed sports jewelry line.”

l-r: Sheila, Matt, and Chad Powell

l-r: Sheila, Matt, and Chad Powell

The pre-game actually began in 1993 when Powell left a position with a major fine jewelry retailer (where he specialized in custom projects) to strike out on his own from his hometown of Missouri Valley, Iowa. He brought his wife, Sheila, into the business side of things. His son, Chad, eventually became a CAD (computer-aided design) master and joined the family business.  In 2007, the Powells opened up an Old Market storefront, Perspective Jewelry Design Studio, where they created, and still create, many one-of-a-kind engagement rings and other fine pieces.

For the first few years at Perspective, the Powells were comfortable with just their “nice niche” of taking clients’ ideas (and sometimes heritage diamonds or other elements) all the way from rough concept to shining reality.

“We’re artisans in that we know how to do it all. We can design it, we can build the models and prototypes, we can cast the pieces, we can set the stones, we can do all the other work involved with it,” he says. “It’s really all—start-to-finish—us.”

The same in-house resources that were optimal for couples designing engagement rings made possible the fast turnaround time needed for custom sports jewelry. Argent Sports began with a simple baseball pendant created during a College World Series. Using various precious metals and a range of enamels, diamonds, and gemstones, the Powells developed a line of customized baseball necklaces for team insiders and fans by the next year’s series.

“We found something that people responded to and reacted to, and we took that and built on it. We kept fine-tuning it and adjusting, and through that feedback loop, we developed a product line that works,” Powell says, explaining that the direct interaction with clients visiting during the CWS was another advantageous factor in Argent’s growth.

“If I were sitting in my little shop in Missouri Valley, I don’t think I could have ever done it.”

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Baseball pendants are still a mainstay for Argent, and they have more design options to broaden the spectrum further. “We do add new product all the time,” Powell says.  “We have something for different price points.”

Baseball jewelry led to football jewelry, and, following a serendipitous visit from just the right official, Powell was able to gain exclusive rights to licensed NCAA logos and images. With the ability to create exclusive, institution-approved pieces, the CWS remains a peak period for business, and Powell gets closer to the fans each year through a temporary second location he operates in Omaha Baseball Village. He holds relationships with retailers from Alabama to Wisconsin, often in communities with the right kind of fan, such as college towns. This enables him to sell team-affinity jewelry year-round— and sell baseball pieces long after the last CWS game. He’s produced pieces in batches for special groups like alumni organizations and booster groups.

“You have to have the right crowd and the right store…There’s a streakiness and a quirkiness to it that’s really hard to put your thumb on, and we’ve really kind of learned as we’ve gone along,” he says.

Most of the pieces on the top end of the line are made on demand, Powell says, and although he doesn’t mass-produce, anything that doesn’t sell can usually be recast and the material repurposed.

“We’re not doing any of this overseas; it’s all done here in Omaha and Missouri Valley. Because it’s all done locally and we’re able to turn it pretty quickly, I don’t have to stock a ton of inventory and hope it sells. When I get an order I can fill it either immediately or pretty quickly and then I can backfill.”

Obviously Omaha

June 15, 2016 by

Matt1Celebrate 
The Old Mattress Factory Bar (The Matt) is self described as Omaha’s Best Event Bar. The Matt has everything you’re looking for when it comes to lunch, dinner, a night out in Omaha, or in planning your next event.

Blatt1Savor
Blatt Beer & Table boasts an attractive food menu, along with a sweeping lineup of beer options. Holding close to its Omaha roots, the Blatt gets its namesake from the old Rosenblatt Stadium, and every Tuesday the Blatt offers half off any beer brewed in Nebraska.

Filmstreams1View
Founded as a 501c3 nonprofit in 2005, Film Streams is a two-screen cinema committed to screening films based on their creative, artistic, and social merits. Film Streams plays host to the film fanatic and the leisurely movie goer alike.

Hotel1Rest
Homewood Suites Omaha Downtown is a classic, extended stay hotel that sits just across from TD Ameritrade Park. Enjoy restful nights during the hectic College World Series in the traditionally furnished rooms, which come with fully equipped kitchens, dining tables, free WiFi, and flat-screen TVs. A free hot breakfast is provided, as well as a complimentary light dinner and drinks.

UrbanOutfitters1Threads
Urban Outfitters is known for a vast array of on trend fashion choices, accessories, and home-decor items. Looking to take your aesthetic to the next level? This is your place. Explore the multi level establishment where you will find everything from record players and hipster duds, to coffee mugs.

TrueBlue1

Shop
True Blue Goods and Gifts strives to highlight national and local artisans as well as unique-to-Omaha merchandise including visual art, jewelry, pottery, bags, children’s goods, home décor, candles, cards, and much more!

This is Omaha

May 4, 2015 by

FourStarters-1Once

This article appears in May/June 2015 Omaha Magazine.

ONCE 

Orpheum Theater

May 13-17

Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, Once is a truly original Broadway experience featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage. Based on the Academy Award-winning film, it tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights, but their unlikely connection turns out to be deeper and more complex than your everyday romance.

The Oscar-winning independent Irish film, Once, was made for $150,000. Shot in 17 days, it went on to gross $20M worldwide, becoming a critically acclaimed international smash. It stars Glen Hansard, from the popular Irish Rock band The Frames, and Markéta Irglová. The duo won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song with “Falling Slowly,” and the film won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Music. The soundtrack was also nominated for two Grammy Awards.

Orpheum Theater

409 S. 16th St. 

TicketOmaha.com

liedcenter.org

FourStarters-2CWS

The College World Series

TD Ameritrade Park Omaha

June 13-23/24

Call it Baseball’s Burning Man. There’s just nothing like it in the world of college sports: One city inextricably linked to the national championship of a major sport. For more than 60 years, college baseball players have had one goal each spring—to keep rolling down that “Road to Omaha.” For many it’s more a week-and-a-half-long vacation, a chance to leave the real world behind at the rebirth of summer and immerse in the unique rhythms and peculiarities of “America’s Pastime.” For 10 days (or 11 days if the 3-game championship series goes to a third game), Omaha adopts the spirit of the game, a vibe built on colorful people, bizarre superstitions, and a freewheeling festival groove. Baseball fans are cool. They’re laid back. They’re friendly. They’re master tailgaters. There’s a reason the series has stayed in Omaha all these years. It’s just hard to imagine any place doing it better.

TD Ameritrade Park Omaha

1200 Mike Fahey St.

Tickets from $30.

cwsomaha.com 

Fourstarters-3friedfood

Omaha Magazine’s Fried Food Festival

Presented by Storz Brewery

Lewis and Clark Landing

June 20

Partnering with Storz Trophy Room Grill & Brewery, Omaha Magazine’s Fried Food Festival promises lots of outdoor fun on Father’s Day weekend. Featuring everything for the fried food foodie, this festival will celebrate all things dipped and battered on the Lewis and Clark Landing from 1 to 6 p.m.

Bringing together street-style vendors, food trucks, and multiple beer gardens is a sure-fire way for dads to load up the calories and enjoy this special weekend. Sticking to a theme we think is only natural for a fried food festival, you’ll enjoy live country music while gobbling down such perfect—if funky—combos as deep-fried pickles and squid.

Enjoy the view of the riverfront while learning a twangy two-step or a do-si-do from professional line dancers. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can try your luck on the mechanical bull. If a little liquid courage is needed, relax in one of the many beer gardens featuring locally brewed Storz beer.

But don’t forget to slather on the sunscreen and bring the kids to the fun zone featuring large inflatable obstacle courses. Admission is free, so bring dad, the kids, and yourself to Omaha’s only Fried Food Festival.

Lewis and Clark Landing 

345 N. Riverfront Dr.

FriedFoodFest.com

FourStarters - 4RiitaIkonen

Riitta Ikonen: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Leaf 

Through June 27

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

Myth, memory, and mysticism. Finnish artist Riitta Ikonen ties together all three, and she does so through long-term, multi-disciplinary projects that she creates alone or in conjunction with regular collaborators. Throughout her work, nature frequently acts as both content and context, with characters literally inhabiting the natural landscape or anthropomorphizing into it.

This is evident in several of the exhibition’s featured projects, including Ikonen’s acclaimed Eyes as Big as Plates series, which she created through an on-going collaboration with photographer Karoline Hjorth. Inspired by Scandinavian folklore, the series documents older inhabitants clad in the artist’s wearable costumes in remote landscapes around the world. Within the solitude of these places, her subjects become one with their surroundings, subtly underscoring the age-old relationship between people and nature.

While each of Ikonen’s projects differ in breadth and scope, at their core they all emphasize the deep and abiding connection as well as the silent, dynamic potential that exists between people and nature, the spaces they inhabit, and the experiences they share.

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

724 S. 12th St.

BemisCenter.org

Visitors Spend a Record $1 Billion

August 26, 2013 by
Illustration by U.S. Travel Association

Imagine Omaha hosting 40 College World Series events every year—in essence, that’s what actually happens in our city. New economic impact research shows 5 million out-of-town guests visited Omaha in 2012, the equivalent of holding the CWS in our city dozens and dozens of times. But more importantly, the research shows Omaha is no longer a one- or two-trick pony, where people only visit to attend the CWS or Berkshire Hathaway’s Shareholders Meeting. Our city has developed into a year-round destination.

Research conducted by Tourism Economics shows more people are visiting Omaha and spending more in our city than ever before. In 2012, research shows visitors spent $1.025 billion dollars in Omaha, a 13 percent spending increase in two years. As expected, visitor spending is highest during the second and third quarter during the typical summer travel season; however, hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent during other times of the year as well—more proof Omaha’s tourism engine is running full time.

The fact that tourism is a year-round business also impacts each of us directly in the form of tax relief. When visitors eat in our restaurants, stay in our hotels, and shop in our stores, they are bringing new money into our local economy. Tourism Economics reports that visitor spending saves each Douglas County household approximately $655 a year in taxes.

These new numbers make it clear that the more visitors spend, the more we save—simple math that adds up to a big return all year long.

Questions or comments? E-mail us at info@visitomaha.com.

Dana Markel is Executive Director of Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Dusty and Marlina Davidson

February 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

In a fit of late-night online browsing in 2004, Dusty and Marlina Davidson responded to a quirkily written classified for an Old Market apartment: “Super fly loft. Huge windows, two bedrooms, 2,000 square feet.”

With their minds set on moving out of their bland rental into something with a little more character, the couple stopped by the downtown loft the next morning. And moved in the next week. “It was a blink of an eye sort of thing,” Dusty says.

Neither of the Council Bluffs natives had lived downtown before, but both were ready to be in the heart of Omaha. They cite the energy of the Old Market, the Farmers Market (“We go down once a week and get stuff from our ‘garden,’” Marlina says, laughing), and the never-ending supply of things to do.

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The spacious loft seems TV-show ready, with exposed bricks and piping and scarred concrete. Contemporary décor, set off with pieces from IKEA, local designers, and heirlooms, keeps the two-bedroom apartment looking Young Professional Modern and not College Student Artistic.

The foyer is long and narrow, with a tiny seating area, a few plants, and gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows framed by heavy, white curtains. “It’s a weird space,” Dusty says, but the bar is down there, and it’s a good overflow area for entertaining. A little bit of a library adds an intellectual flare to the area, thanks to Dusty’s grandmother gifting him three or four classics on his birthdays. “I wish I enjoyed reading as much as I enjoy books,” he says.

The couple has considered buying a place but, as Marlina says, “We love the location, the frontage, the windows.”

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“The food truck,” Dusty adds with a sigh, pointing out where Localmotive parks right outside on 12th and Jackson every night. “We can’t be bothered to move. It’s sort of like inertia on some level, but we really love our place.”

A few years into living in their no-name building, the Davidsons made the acquaintance of local designer Jessica McKay of Birdhouse Interior Design. With her help, the couple learned how to give their personal style a voice in their Old Market home. “We bought a few pieces,” Marlina says, “but really I think it was more about what do we have and how do reorganize it so that it makes sense.”

One long-loved piece takes pride of place in the loft’s entryway: a bright blue Ms. Pac-Man arcade gaming console, built by Dusty as a gift for Marlina when they were dating. “He bought it as a black box,” she explains, noting he had an artist friend hand paint the iconic character on the console because it was her favorite. An old CRT television is the screen and is hooked up to a computer loaded with thousands of arcade and Nintendo games. “It’s fun when we have people over for the holidays or a party,” Marlina says.20130122_bs_2642 copy

You won’t find them entertaining much during the summer, however. For the past two years, the Davidsons have rented out their apartment to College World Series visitors and escaped the season’s craziness with a European working vacation. “I’m fine never seeing the College World Series again if we can get someone to pay us to go to France,” Dusty says. The couple plan to rent an apartment in Paris again this summer, a scheme that pans out nicely for his work as a serial entrepreneur with Silicon Prairie News and Flywheel, and her summers off from lecturing in communications at UNO.

If that sounds good to other young professionals in town, the Davidsons are all encouragement. “I think there’s more of us down here than people realize,” Dusty says. “There are places to be had. You can find them.”

Blatt Beer & Table

August 17, 2012 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

With a sprawling beer list and a food menu designed to complement the brews, it’s easy for pub grub fans and craft beer connoisseurs to hit a home run at Blatt Beer & Table.

Named after Omaha’s Rosenblatt Stadium, the restaurant and bar offers a wide variety of craft beers from microbreweries around the world. The selection includes 24 draft beers, as well as numerous bottled and canned beer.

The menu features flavors from across the globe: German bratwurst and spaetzle; American classics, such as chicken and waffles and mac ‘n’ cheese; an Indian-spiced char-grilled chicken sandwich with mango chutney; the popular Mexican street-food snack chicharones (fried pork skins dusted with chili powder); and Irish brownies made with a Guinness batter.

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Blatt is among the newest additions to North Downtown (NoDo)’s dining scene. Located directly south of TD Ameritrade Park, it opened in June, just in time for the College World Series.

When the CWS ended, a new crowd stepped up to plate. Blatt attracts a diverse group that includes residents of neighboring apartment buildings, downtown office workers, Creighton University students and staff, Film Streams moviegoers, and those attending concerts and other events at CenturyLink Center Omaha.

“It’s a great place to hang out,” says Kailin Sneller, Blatt Beer & Table’s general manager. “People have really started to catch on to us.”

The diverse crowd, laid-back atmosphere, and relaxed vibe fit in well with the eclectic and supportive businesses that comprise NoDo, says Sneller, adding that Blatt differs from other bars and restaurants in the area because it has an extensive and ever-changing beer selection, craft cocktail menu, and food that pairs with beer.

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Another part of its appeal is the rooftop patio, which Sneller said is a great spot to relax and take in the view, weather permitting. “You can see all of downtown,” she says. “It’s really cool.”

Blatt’s interior features a blend of styles, from rustic to industrial. The space gets a vintage feel from tin ceiling tiles repurposed to create part of the bar. Wood-topped tables and exposed brick walls provide a warm, classic flair. Modern elements include concrete floors, sleek metal stools, and garage-style doors that open in nicer weather.

Custom labels adorn bottles of ketchup, mustard, and malt vinegar. Food arrives on tin pie plates, and some items are tucked inside brown paper bags for a stylish and fun presentation.

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Blatt offers Zesto ice cream cones, shakes, and other frozen treats seasonally inside the restaurant and at a walk-up window on the south side of the Blatt. Both are operated by Flagship Restaurant Group, which also runs Blue Sushi and Roja locations in Omaha.

Tony Gentile, Flagship’s corporate executive chef, created Blatt’s menu with Mikey Hill, Blatt’s executive chef. Gentile said the menu showcases simple, unfussy, and delicious bar food that goes well with a wide range of beers. Blatt’s staff are happy to suggest food and beer pairings.

Blatt Beer & Table, 610 N. 12th St., is open daily at 11am. For more information, visit blattbeer.com or call 402-718-8822.