Frequent visitors to Benson have perhaps noticed the construction taking place at 6201 Maple St.
On the rooftop of space formerly occupied by Bill's Grocery and later by Lizard King Reptiles, a huge, open-air patio is taking shape.
Eventually, the patio will be part of 1912, a restaurant and bar owned by Joe Carmichael, who also runs Burke's just down the street. The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission approved his request for a liquor license last week.
Carmichael hopes to open the spot this fall. The bar and grill will also have a ground-level patio out back, as well as both indoor and rooftop stages. Carmichael said he doesn't intend 1912 to be a venue, per se, but he does want to feature live music during Benson First Friday, the Omaha Entertainment Awards showcase and other neighborhood events.
Food-wise, he plans to offer a traditional bar menu -- burgers, sandwiches, fries and such -- though he plans to use locally sourced ingredients when possible. He'll also offer both domestic and craft beers, as well as some craft cocktails. The rooftop space will also be available for private events.
Carmichael hasn't yet nailed down a specific opening date, though he's getting close. The old building required significant structural updates -- which took more than a year to complete -- in order to support the rooftop deck.
"It's taken a lot longer than we had hoped for, but we see the end in sight," Carmichael said.