The Fair Deal Café, Celebrating History and a NEW beginning
Charlie Hall’s Place, Omaha’s “Black City Hall,” The after –church meeting place…are all familiar terms when referring to the business that was the Fair Deal Café at 2118 North 24th Street. The iconic brick colored building was built in 1920 as a restaurant. It was acquired by Charles “Charlie” Hall in 1953, and was operated with his wife Audentria (Dennie) Hall from 1957 (d. 1997). The Fair Deal Café was a social and cultural hub for almost 50 years and Omaha’s ONLY soul food restaurant for more than 20 years.
The L-shaped counter with a dozen stools and the black vinyl covered tables served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Two sides were served with each meal: greens, black-eyed peas, neck bones, chitterlings, rice, beans, and yams. Each day there was a menu special and you could complete your dining with cake, pie, or cobbler. Those were the days… The Fair Deal closed in 2003.
Omaha Economic Development Corporation, under the leadership of Michael Maroney, purchased the property in 2006, and plans have been laid for a 2016, opening of the Fair Deal Village MarketPlace. Small stores selling clothing and other goods mixed with boutique artisan/artist space will occupy the northern end of the site at 24th and Burdette Streets. Repurposed shipping containers (Cargotecture) will house these micro-businesses. These versatile structures will provide a cost-effective approach to economic redevelopment in an underserved community.
At the center of the site will be a restored Fair Deal Café. Destined to once again be a gathering space for the neighborhood and the community at large, the renovated space will include many of the interior features of the former Café as well as some modern amenities including an outdoor eating area.
A healthy food store will anchor the south end of the site, complementing the scale of the Café and micro-retail spaces. The store is designed to address the food desert issues within the community. Marketing fresh, locally produced food in the neighborhood.
The mission of the Omaha Economic Development Corporation is to invest in North Omaha’s people, developing projects that restore the economic and social viability of the community. This is the vision of the Fair Deal Village MarketPlace, which will be a reality in 2016.
For more information, contact Terri Sanders, Site Manager, 402-346-2300, ext. 204 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to be added to our email list click here .