There’s nothing wrong with Leavenworth street during the day but, to feel the magic, you need to cruise it at night. Neon is a massive part of what makes Leavenworth magical and luckily the businesses on the street appreciate it as much as we neighbors do.
The neon cowboy at Bronco’s Burgers at 4540 Leavenworth is as Gunsmoke/Bonanza style as it gets. That cowpoke has been flat looping his lasso over us plainsman burger-vores since 1962. Knowing its importance, the restaurant restored the sign in 2017.
About a block east of Bronco’s, a neon mustachioed paisan strums his mandolin over La Casa Pizzeria. He’ll lead you to what, since 1953, has arguably been the best pizza in Omaha. Tell them to take their time with your ‘za, you’ll want to start with the arancini. Alexander Payne gave the sign a role in his movie Downsizing.
The tradition of neon on Leavenworth isn’t only being preserved, it’s being continued. Grinn & Barrett Tattoo & Piercing is just a couple blocks from Midtown Legacy. Owner Jen Beirola was shopping a salvage yard and found an old motel sign from the Circle J Motel in Villisca, Iowa. Signworks repaired and installed the sign so that Grinn & Barrett can “fit in” in true bold flashy Leavenworth style.
Show out-of-town guests the zoo and the old market but for the real feel of Omaha, take them to the strip.