New Virtual Food Hall Opens July 22 in West Omaha | State and Region
Betsie Freeman Editor of the World-Herald
The Blend, a new virtual food hall, will open Friday, July 22 at a former Amigo restaurant near 107th and Q streets.
Diners can order online at nine restaurants for pickup or delivery, owner Jon Stastny said. This means that people in a family can each choose a different kitchen that will be ready at the same time in one package.
Three of Stastny’s concepts – Wonton Jon’s, Omaha Cheesesteak Co. and Loaded Bowls – are among the participating restaurants. The others are Gravy Train, The Deviled Egg Co., Conscious Comforts, Loaded Bowls, and SARAY coffee + juice.
Stastny said he charges tenants a small rent and a percentage of their sales. In return, they get everything they need: kitchen space, equipment, central control system, cleaning crews, etc. They will also operate under a single health permit.
This reduces labor costs and alleviates hiring issues for each restaurant, as they will only need one or two workers per shift, he said.
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“Their only job is to come in and cook regularly,” he said. “Blend will staff for everything else.”
He said the room had state-of-the-art equipment that many small businesses couldn’t afford to start.
Each of the room’s attendees is relatively new, but three – Loaded Bowls, Omaha Cheesesteak Co. and SARAY – will serve first-timers outside of pop-ups or other unofficial openings.
Stastny said he also plans to offer take-out dining options from other local Blendega vendors, inspired by convenience stores and bodegas. It will also offer basic non-food items.
The room will remain at nine concepts for now, he said, but he has plans.
“Once we prove the concept, we will build a bigger building and bring in more suppliers,” he said.
He hopes that participating in the room will be a boon for sellers. He expects some to grow out of space.
“Our goal is for everyone to be successful and if that means they are successful enough to open their own place, that’s great,” he said.
He may invite other sellers for pop-ups to give repeat tenants a break on some weekend nights.
The Blend location is only accessible by driving. It will have a soft opening today from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will officially open at 8 a.m. Friday. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
You can order on a free app available for Apple and Android phones.
With the app, you can participate in a loyalty program and buy a monthly Blend pass with no shipping costs. You can also order from blendfoodhall.com.