It's been ten months - since the devastating fire that gutted the Old Market hotspot M's Pub. Tonight, news that the restaurant will make a comeback in 2017 - has locals rejoicing.
The owner of the popular venue is eyeing an opening date - next summer. It's still up in the air if the M's Pub name will stay the same, but the owner says everything else that customers know and love about the restaurant will be back.
Construction is moving full speed ahead. New windows have already been installed on the second, third and fourth floors and store front glass is being added this week. All these updates mean there are some welcome changes coming to 11th and Howard Streets in Old Market.
Take a drive through Old Market and you may notice there's a familiar landmark that's no longer in business. But fans of M's Pub rejoice - a reopening is in sight.
"When the fire first happened word was that they weren't sure if they were going to re-open or not. i just think from a business standpoint how hard that would be to have a restaurant and have a fire like that happen," said Steven Mascarello, manager of Zio's Pizzeria. "I am super excited they'll be able to reopen."
And M's Pub regulars aren't the only ones celebrating the opening. Building renovations are allowing the city to remove the fences on 11th and Howard streets as well as reopening 11th St. to two lanes traffic. Meaning customers will have easier access to shopping and dining.
"It means great business for our business. It means more traffic flow," said Cameron Wilson, LeWonderment Employee. "More cars can park in front of the store. People will be able to see that we're open and running."
"For our customers to be able to park closer to the restaurant and not have to park so far away, it's great," said Mascarello. "When I come down here just to eat, not to work, but to eat, it's nice to have extra - however much parking that is."
Owner Ann Mellen says she plans on running the restaurant as a solo venture this time around. She's working with one of the original architects to maintain the building's style and plans to bring a classic taste of Omaha to foodies for many years to come.
"Yeah, we go to m's pub probably every time we had someone coming into town we'd take them there. they had this little lavosh that was one of my favorite things on the menu. so it was a good go to," said John Pawlowski, customer of M's Pub.
There are several pending lawsuits related to January's fire. Owner Ann Mellen couldn't comment on those cases, but says that they will have no effect on the restaurant's reopening.