History of The Matt
Originally constructed in 1883, this beautiful brick building was the Stabrie Grocery Store which served the residents in this neighborhood north of Downtown Omaha. At the time of its opening, there were 88 grocers listed in the Omaha City Directory, most of them located along streetcar lines or in highly populated neighborhoods. The surrounding area experienced many changes as the Union Pacific Railroad Shops and Omaha Smelting Works continued to grow and railroad lines occupied much of the land. The residents who built wood framed houses, enjoyed a neighborhood school and a nearby city park, were most likely Stabrie’s most loyal customers. But by 1894 the small grocery store closed and the building was home to a barber, a feed & grain company and several local saloons over the next twenty years.
In 1915 the building was re-opened in the line of its original purpose as Grocers Specialty Company took over. By 1920, the Horacek- Schneider Co. Whole Grocers, which operated as a grocery wholesale business kept the doors open and added two large two-story additions to the original structure. As chain grocery stores started to alter the nature of this industry, the building again changed hands in 1945 and became the Central Mattress Company where mattresses were built, sold and shipped through the 1990’s. Through all of the neighborhood and industry changes in Omaha, and even the development of Interstate 480, the building at 501 N. 13th Street has been able to withstand the test of time. It is truly an example of the way things used to be in the earliest years of Omaha’s growth as a city in the Midwest.
The Old Mattress Factory Bar & Grill has taken pride in this historic place and hopes to continue to preserve Omaha’s past through the restoration of the interior of the building. A visit to The Matt will promise patrons a newly renovated bar/restaurant located within the original brick walls and architecture of the old Stabrie building. The unusually high ceilings and restored wood timbers and beams give the place an open and authentic atmosphere. Even the “Flour & Feed” sign that was painted on the once exterior side of the brick wall has been saved. Also the menu includes portions of this building’s past in the names of drink specials, appetizers and entrees.
In 2007 the Stabrie Grocery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which even furthers its place in Omaha’s amazing history. In this booming portion of North Downtown Omaha, The Old Mattress Factory Bar and Grill provides a place for people to gather and enjoy the events of the day, while catching a glimpse of our city’s memorable past and growing future.