Noah and Katie Mock are Omaha’s king and queen of nostalgia.
They’ve already wooed us with their singular wood-paneled grandparents’ basement vibe with Nite Owl, in the Blackstone District. Prepare to be wooed anew.
Fizzy’s, their latest effort in Little Bohemia, at 1408 S. 13th St., opened Wednesday. I was lucky enough to be invited to a sneak peek earlier this week.
Fizzy’s is so damn cool, I can barely stand it.
The Mocks kept a lot of the old Bohemian Cafe in the space – Fizzy’s takes up one third of the old Omaha restaurant on South 13th St. But they’ve somehow taken the nostalgia that the Bohemian Cafe was all about and made it feel modern. It’s great.
Of course, all of this comes with a fair amount of kitsch. Well, more than a fair amount.
Diners order from a telephone on the wall of their booth (there’s no dial tone; it rings to the staff behind the bar.) It’s fun. I could barely take in all the nods to this or that old bit of Omaha in the space.
It turns out the food and drinks are just what you’d expect from the Mocks, too: creatively named, deliciously crafted and well thought out. Take the day’s T.V. dinner special: a nod to the neighborhood’s past that included fried pork, dumplings, dill gravy and red cabbage kraut. Each bite of the meal had more flavor and texture than any classic version would have. They updated the classic Omaha cheese frenchee with a pimento cheese filling, and an order of lil’ biscuits, with a flaky interior and savory glazed top, is the perfect carb-loaded starter.
Drinks have fun names, and there’s a focus on Coneflower Creamery ice cream drinks and floats (we tried a fantastic Negroni float.) But there’s also non-ice cream drinks, including some great cocktails, along with wine and local beer.
I really like what’s happened in Little Bohemia: cool stores, art organizations, some of the hottest bars around, local beer and now a retro bar that has great drinks but also the thing the neighborhood is, so far, lacking: great food.