“Dumplings and kraut today…at the Bohemian Café,” owner Bob Kapoun’s granddaughter Addison sang the familiar jingle of the Bohemian Café.
But there’s no more dumplings. No more kraut. In fact, Saturday was the last time the Bohemian Café opened its charmingly-decorated doors to the public.
One by one, pieces of the restaurant, memories that have lasted generations, are sold off to the highest bidder.
“My brother Ron said one time, ‘When they were on the wall, they were just a part, but now you’re thinking you just won’t see those anymore,’” said Terry Kapoun, Bob’s brother and part owner.
Wooden plates, paintings, photographs, dishes, and old menus. A permanent link to the past of a neighborhood fixture now closed forever.
“My family and I have been coming here for a long time, we’ve celebrated anniversaries here, special occasions. And you know, such a famous Omaha institution that I wanted to come down here and see if I could get myself a piece for my home bar,” said Mark Kelehan, a long-time customer who purchased a wooden plate from the auction.
“They’ll be at someone else’s house that loved the restaurant as much as we did and they’ll enjoy looking at that as much as we did, so that’s kind of consoling in that way,” said Kapoun.
Terry’s grandparents bought the restaurant in 1959 and moved it to its familiar 13th St. location. He recalled the joy of working with his parents, his siblings, and later his children, the fourth generation to share in running the iconic restaurant.
“Not really a memory, but just the feeling that every day we were able to see our mother at work. You know, who gets to do that. We did,” said a teary Kapoun.
That feeling of family extended to the customers – long time patrons who say they’ll miss the food and the fellowship.
“I guess it’s great to be able to get a piece of the history and preserve, but it’s also kind of sad that it’s gone forever.”
“Just thank the people of Omaha for all the memories that they shared with us and that we were able to share with them.”