Last year, the owners of Countryside Village asked Seth McMillan, who owns the Old Market store McLovin: A Store for Men, if he would open a holiday pop-up store at the shopping center at 87th and Pacific Streets.
“I couldn’t do a pop-up store,” McMillan said. But the offer piqued his interest for something more permanent: “Let’s see if we can do a store there.”
He could and he did. McMillan’s second Omaha menswear store, Ensemble: A Men’s Collection, opened Thursday at Countryside Village next to the Market Basket.
Ensemble will focus on men’s contemporary wear that is “elegant and refined” and “sophisticated and on trend.” It will offer men’s apparel, accessories and footwear from brands such as John Varvatos, Cafe Bleu and Stone Rose, he said.
McMillan, who lives “around the corner” from the shopping center, will split his time between his two stores, spending mornings and early afternoons at Ensemble and afternoons and evenings at McLovin.
McMillan hired four new employees to staff the 1,300-square-foot store, which features natural light, white and black decor and gray flannel accents. Ensemble occupies a space formerly occupied by Pattini Women’s Shoes, which has closed.
McMillan, who grew up in Tennessee, went to college on a piano scholarship but studied accounting. He moved to Omaha three years ago from Atlanta and, in 2012, opened McLovin, which is named after a character in the film “Superbad.”
McMillan said e-commerce won’t replace the well-run, independent brick-and-mortar store or shopping center. Internet sales, he said, can never replace the friendly staff member who “can shake your hand and say ‘You look good.’ ”