Building remodel reveals icky surprise

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Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013 12:00 am


The ground floor of the building at 1407 Harney St. is being remodeled into a gourmet pub, and will open in May. Obviously a bunch of pest pictures won't do for a restaurant – building owner Eric Wieseler tells me they will be preserved and used as an architectural element in the building's common corridors, but not in the restaurant itself. He said the windows are "quite delicate and will be eroded if left to the elements."

It's nice to see someone appreciate the building's history and find a way to preserve that.

The restaurateurs are Omaha natives Jeff Luby and Eric Hochstein. Looking forward to checking out their place this summer. It has its own gritty historical element. It will be named Wilson & Washburn, after an Omaha madam, Anna Wilson, and one of her, well, employees, Josie Washburn. You can read more about their story here.

As Hochstein said, "There's just enough facts documented to be historical, and just enough legend to keep it fun."


Construction workers got a surprise when they pulled down an old false facade from the building at 1407 Harney St. and found an ant, a rat, a bed bug, a moth and a cockroach – all larger than life.

Pictures of the pests were painted on old windows, from when the building was apparently home to Levenson Chemical Exterminating. Levenson's has since moved, but the signs remain behind.

A worker told me the building is being remodeled into a bar, and that the bar owners plan to remove the signs and use them inside as decor. I couldn't reach building owner Eric Wieseler to find out what bar will open up there. If anyone knows, please let us know:

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