A few weeks ago, the building in the center of the above photo was destroyed by a devastating fire. This corner was the heart of Omaha’s Old Market. Listed as a historic district in the National Register of Historic Places, the Old Market was originally Omaha’s wholesale grocery district. Starting in the late 1960s, funky art galleries, restaurants and boutique shops began springing up along the cobblestone streets and the area gradually became more upscale with loft condos filling the warehouses. It’s a vibrant part of the city with street performers and many of the areas best restaurants, galleries, and shops. The destroyed building housed the iconic M’s Pub, an Omaha and Old Market institution since 1972 (photos of M’s, from Yelp, in better days here and here). Growing up in Omaha, I have fond memories of lunches and dinners at M’s, which I also often frequented when returning to visit family and friends. The building also housed Nouvelle Eve which opened in 1973. Here’s a photo of Nouvelle Eve’s second floor window I shot several years ago:
The Omaha World Herald has a slideshow of amazing, but heartbreaking, photos of the fire and its aftermath, some of which are pasted and linked below (including the Nouvelle Eve window caked with ice in the fire’s aftermath):
For now, the shell of the building is still standing and may be salvaged. Hopefully the building exterior can be saved but it will never be the same, no matter how faithful any restoration effort.