Fidel Favela, born in Chicago, raised in Omaha and a 2004 graduate of Papillion-La Vista High School, is Bellevue’s newest restaurateur and patron of dance, bands and finger food.
Club Mega, a Latin-themed night club, has been open almost a month.
Favela, 27, said the club represents an entrepreneurial willingness to roll the dice.
He earned some working capital flipping houses and is dropping it into the night club located in the former La Mesa restaurant building at 605 Fort Crook Road N.
His cooks will burn the gas well past midnight, serving food until 2 a.m. and until 3 a.m. on Saturdays. Hours will be 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday through Sunday, with an additional hour for food on Saturday.
The Club Mega menu is traditional American with wings and appetizers, cheeseburgers and bacon burgers and a selection of Mexican dishes, all offered at sports bar prices.
An expansive dance floor is the club’s central feature, with music to be supplied sometimes by a DJ and sometimes by live bands targeting primarily an older audience.
Given recent incidents of violence at Omaha nightclubs, Favela said he is taking security issues seriously. Younger guests entering the club, he said, will usually be subject to a pat down, and the exterior of the building will be patrolled every 45 minutes.
“I’m putting a lot into this club, and I’m hoping to get a good five years or more from it,” he said. “We just want a place where people can come and enjoy themselves.”
New Year’s Eve was an especially large event, with an 18-piece band ushering in 2014.
The noise level drew a visit from the Bellevue Police Department, Favela said, a problem he hopes to resolve by adjusting sound levels and hiring smaller bands.
It was a visit Favela had feared.
He said Bellevue has a reputation in the nightclub business for giving clubs little leeway, but that he hopes to work with the city and the police to address any concerns that might arise.
He said he added insulation to the building’s walls and windows in the wake of the noise complaints.
Bellevue Police Capt. Chuck Clark gave assurances the police would work in good faith with the nightclub.
He said that during the past 20 years several nightclubs in Bellevue, located like Club Mega near residences, drew neighborhood noise complaints.
In most cases, he said, those complaints were resolved.
Clark said the Bellevue police wish Favela well.
“We hope they do well because it brings people to Bellevue,” he said. “Young people need a place to go and dance and listen to music, so we hope his business goes well.”
He acknowledged, however, the noise problem will have to be resolved because residents are entitled to peace and quiet.
“It probably will be a give and take between the business and the neighbors about figuring out what noise levels are acceptable,” he said.
Clark said police officers will not initiate contact with the club.
“We will respond only if we get a complaint,” he said. “If the neighbors can live with it, so can we.”