The Downtown dining scene is absolutely exploding. On the one hand I wish I still worked Downtown so that I could give all the restaurants a try on a regular basis. On the other hand, the wealth of options would paralyze me every day at noon.
There's no way I can remember all of the "recent" entrants to the Downtown food crowd, but here are a few that are open or have been announced:
...and those are just off the top of my head!
The glut of new food options is fantastic for those of us who love to eat, but it comes with a downside. There's simply no way all of those places will last for any significant length of time. Not, that is, unless more customers can be brought into the Downtown area. Some of the extra demand will be created by the new Haymarket hotels and next fall's opening of the Pinnacle Bank Arena. That's not enough.
For long-term sustainability of all of this food, Downtown is going to need more retail, more residents, and more employees. All of that is happening to a certain extent, but the pace will need to pick up a bit. UNL's goal of topping 30,000 undergraduates would be a big help ... if they were anywhere near actually meeting the goal. The Larson Building helps. Any residential activity that accompanies the arena will help.
Even if I did work Downtown and even once all these new joints are up and running, I know what would happen: I'd still wind up back at Oso, Lazzari's, and Ali Baba's. I'm all in favor of trying new and shiny things, but ultimately I'm drawn back to the classics. My impression is that I'm not alone in that regard. And thank goodness. Those mainstays are what make Downtown Downtown. The rest is just filler.
- Topper's Pizza
- Wahoo's Fish Tacos
- Firehouse Subs
- Rodizio Grill
- Raising Cane's
- Mr. Goodcents
- Twin Peaks