Omaha's best business signs - Momaha.com

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Photo by Micah Mertes/THE WORLD-HERALD


Grinn & Barrett Tattoo at 3021 Leavenworth St.




Omaha's best business signs

Let's start off by acknowledging this list is not comprehensive or definitive. This is all in my humble opinion.

If I missed a great one, please let me know in the comments section or send a message to micah.mertes@owh.com.



Best dentist's office sign that looks like it could be for a swanky, new nightclub: City View Dental at 1415 Harney St.


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Best sheet metal shop sign that looks like it could be for a new indie concert venue: Hempel Sheet Metal Works at 1255 S. 13th St.


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Photo courtesy of Jeremy Brooks


Best stretch of great signs: Leavenworth Street

Drive on Leavenworth from about 30th to 50th, and you'll be see some of Omaha's oldest and most iconic signs. The Bronco's cowboy sign's been there since the early '60s.

La Casa Pizzaria's Peppi sign, which was declared a city landmark, was erected in 1957 and got a full restoration in 2008. The mandolin-playing mascot was the creation of La Casa founder Joe Patane.

The Charlie Graham sign, which has been there since 1969, got a full tune-up a few years back. At the time of the restoration, Charlie Graham owner Jim Champion told The World-Herald, "that sign defines us. It is us."

A relative new kid to the block is Grinn & Barrett Tattoo at 3021 Leavenworth St., which opened at that location in 2012 in an abandoned U.S. Post Office building. Grinn & Barrett's owner Jen Beirola and crew got their massive re-purposed neon sign from a salvage yard

"That's the perfect part of town for it," said Gabrielle Ryan, vice president of the sign-making company Signworks. "It looks like it was always there."


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Best classic sign not on Leavenworth: Piccolo Pete's

The 80-year-old business at 2202 S. 20th St. erected the neon piccolo player sign sometime in the early '60s. The piccolo player's been getting regular touch-ups since his full restoration.


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Best keeping-it-neon chain award: Baker's

The red open chain letters are what make a Baker's look immediately like a Baker's.


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Photo courtesy of Jeremy Brooks


Best keeping-it-neon chain award runner-up: Max I. Walker Cleaners

The nearly 100-year-old business' classic signs in Dundee and Benson, as well as the one at 4602 Cuming St., are bright beauties.


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Best next generation of Omaha signage: North downtown

One of the hippest areas in Omaha has become a neon mecca in the last decade.


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Best sign that fought a tornado and lived: Wolf Bros. Western Store

The Wolf Bros. cowboy at 70th and Dodge Streets is almost 30 years old and stands about 50-feet-tall. The same year it was installed, it was almost wiped out by a tornado and later restored.


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Photo courtesy of Jeremy Brooks


Most gorgeous sign for a place where I don't know what they do there: Benson Masonic Temple at 5903 Maple St.


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Tiniest neon letters award: Rose Theater

Signworks' neon glass bender Karen Chaka made the neon letters for the sign. "The Rose was really hard," she said. "That's the smallest thing I ever made."


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Best sign we lost in the last several years: Lucky's

The terrific sign for Lucky's ten-O-one at 1001 Pacific St., which closed in 2008, was adapted from the previous restaurant name, Angie's. Before that, the location's name was Trentino's.


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Photo courtesy of Jeremy Brooks


Best sign we might lose: Louis

A Bucky's gas station is planned for the site of the old grocery store, which opened in 1957 at 5718 Northwest Radial. It closed last year. The Louis Bar & Grill closed this fall. The future of the sign is still in question.


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Best kind of a really cool sign when you think about it: Westgate Plaza

The sign, at 84th & Hascal Streets, is in the process of getting restored.


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Photo courtesy of Jeremy Brooks


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