Dining notes: A new virtual dining hall opened Friday in western Omaha | Omaha Dynas

The Blend, a new virtual food court, will open Friday at the former Amigo Restaurant near 107th and Q Streets.

Owner John Stastney said diners can order online from nine restaurants for pick-up or delivery. This means that each member of one family can choose a different kitchen that will be ready at the same time in one package.

Three of Stastny’s concepts – Wonton Jon’s and Omaha Cheesesteak Co. and Loaded Bowls – among the participating restaurants. Others are Gravy Train and The Deviled Egg Co. and Conscious Comforts, Loaded Bowls, and SARAY Coffee + juice.

Stastney said he charges tenants a small rent and a percentage of their sales. In return, they get everything they need: kitchen space, equipment, a central ordering system, cleaning crews, and more. They will also work under one health permit.

This reduces labor costs and alleviates staffing problems for each restaurant, he said, as they will only need one or two workers per shift.

“Their only job is to come and cook constantly,” he said. “Blend will provide employees for everything else.”

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He said the hall has advanced equipment that many small businesses will not be able to afford

Each of the hall participants is relatively new, but three of them – Loaded Bowls and Omaha Cheesesteak Co. And SARAY – they will first serve outside of pop-ups or other casual openings.

Stastney said he also plans to offer takeaway options from other local vendors in Blendega, similar to convenience stores and bodegas. It will also provide non-food necessities.

He said Hall will stay on Nine Concepts for now, but he has plans.

“Once we prove the concept, we will build a bigger building and bring in more vendors,” he said.

Hopefully, participating in the hall will be a boon for sellers. He expects some to grow out of space.

“Our goal is for everyone to succeed,” he said, “and if it means they’re successful enough to open their own niche, that’s great.”

Other sellers might invite pop-ups to give regular tenants a break on some weekend nights.

The Blend website is a drive-through only. Its opening will be facilitated today from 9 am to 2 pm and will officially open at 8 am on Friday. Business hours will be 8 AM to 2 PM and 4-8 PM from Wednesday to Sunday.

You can order via a free app available for both Apple and Android phones. With the app, you can participate in a loyalty program and purchase a monthly Blend Card that waives delivery fees. You can also order at blendfoodhall.com.

Elevated Coffee Co. Mini Mart Hostess, Tap House

There is a lot to talk about at Elevated Coffee Co. These days.

The store, located at 2851 Capehart Road in Bellevue, is adding a local convenience store this month selling locally made goods like produce, bread, pastries, condiments, soap, pantry items and more.

He’s also added a small menu on the weekends, serving a flatbread breakfast with eggs, meat, vegetables, cheese, and three types of panini: chicken pesto, cubano, and vegetables.

And this fall, a handcrafted beer tap house will open in a nearby bay. The company will sell local beer, wine, liquor and coffee drinks. The owners are also planning to expand their menu.

Elevated Coffee Co. is currently open 7am-2pm daily; No hours have been announced for the faucet house.

Go to elevatedcoffeebar.com to find out more.

Selling noodles will help the baker recover the stolen equipment

The owner of a small home baking shop recently lost hundreds of dollars worth of baking equipment and materials when her car was stolen.

Melissa Yoko, who runs Baked by Sweet Melissa, is selling Macaron Flash to recover some of its losses.

From now through July 20, they’re offering dozens of cookies for $6 off the regular price. Macaroons are usually $34 per dozen and are reduced to $28.

The homemade desserts come in four flavors: salted caramel, honey mango, cheesecake and brownie dough.

It will be available for pickup the weekend of July 22nd. Times will be determined upon request.

Visit facebook.com/bakedbysweetmelissa for more information.

Sojourn Cafe reduces opening hours in July due to shortage of workers

Ralston’s popular breakfast and brunch restaurant will only be open Wednesday through Sunday in July.

Owner Brad Grosser posted on The Sojourn Cafe’s Facebook page that he was having trouble finding enough employees to keep the company running afterward.

Sojourn Café in Ralston.

Brendan Sullivan, World Herald

“Our sincerest apologies, but we are trying to salvage the mental health and positive attitudes we have left after these last few hard years,” he said. “We will keep you posted on any updates.”

He said he’s especially looking for “hard-working and capable” chefs. Restaurant working hours from 7 AM to 2 PM

See facebook.com/sojourncaferalston for more information.

Nebraska breweries win medals in the national competition

One of Zipline Brewing Co’s signature beers has been honored as the best beer for the second time, according to a Lincoln Journal Star report.

Zipline’s Copper Alt took the gold in the Altbier class at the recently concluded US Open Brewery Championships in Ohio.

Zipline Brewing Co.

Zipline Brewing Co. In downtown Omaha.

Chris Machian, World Herald

Three other Nebraska breweries also won medals in the competition:

  • Scratchtown Brewing of Ord, silver medalist in the Imperial Porter category.
  • Location 1 Omaha Brewing, Bronze medals in the English IPA and Dopple/Strong Bock categories.
  • Omaha Brewing Brewing Crossover, Bronze Medal in the Bohemian Pilsner Class.

It’s the second time Zipline beer has won a gold medal in a competition. It also brought home a gold medal from the Great American Beer Festival in 2015.

Marcus Powers, Zipline’s co-founder and chief operating officer, told the Lincoln Journal.

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