After 87 years of serving hot Czech meals and serving as a pivotal landmark in South Omaha, the family-run Bohemian Cafe is closing its doors on Saturday.
Since the Kapoun family announced it would be closing down the restaurant located on S. 13th and William, business has skyrocketed and led to long lines of customers often waiting more than an hour to be seated.
"We figured we'd be busy to start with, and it would slow down a bit, and then pick up again. But it's consistently gotten busier and busier as we went along. Last night was our busiest night and we served 735 meals in six hours," says owner Robert Kapoun.
Kapoun says they've had to adjust their hours to keep up with the demand and even required hiring more help. Robert's son and nephews also took time off from their full-time jobs in other cities to come and help with the restaurant's last few weeks of business.
"We're busy since 4 a.m. when we're prepping the food all the way 'til closing so we needed as many hands as possible," adds Kapoun.
The restaurant, which is run by Robert, his mother Mercedes, and his siblings: Ron, Terry, and Marsha has been a familiar affair since the beginning.
"That's the only way we could've done it. I never had any experience in any kind of business - they didn't either but we all learned together. We never expected it to be so successful but it has - since the beginning," says Mercedes.
The owners will go into retirement, but say the good-bye on Saturday will be bitter-sweet.
"You don't realize how many peoples' lives you affect in a restaurant," says Robert. "We have people flying in from all across the country, people calling in who want to buy pictures off the wall because that picture was up when their grandmother used to bring them down here, they used to sit under it. People are saying that this was their place to come for celebrations - their first prom, their first date, their nuptials, so it’s been – it’s kind of neat to look back and see how many lives you affected.”
The Bohemian Cafe will be open from 3 p.m. - 9 p.m. until Saturday, September 24th.