A History of North Omaha’s Tic Toc Diner

Built around 1905, like many historical commercial buildings in North O, 4104 North 24th Street has had several lives since it was built. Most of it is focused on the iconic Tic Toc Diner. Here’s a low-down of the history of another of North Omaha’s greasy spoons…

Kuenne's Bakery, 4106 North 24th Street, North Omaha, Nebraska
This ad announced the opening of a new Kuenne’s Bakery location at 4106 North 24th Street in the 1950s.

It was a pool hall, barber shop and beauty shop; hamburger stand; Kuenne’s Bakery; appliance store; and most recently, the Tic Toc Diner. The entire time, two-room and four-room apartments were rented in the rear of the building.

The Gamble Electric Company was there in the 1910s and 20s; the Young Electric Company took over the address in the late 20s. A business that sold appliances was there through the early 1950s until the Tic Toc Diner was opened.

 

Tic Toc Diner, 4104 North 24th Street, North Omaha, Nebraska
A 1960s ad for the Tic Toc Diner at 4104 North 24th Street featuring greetings from Lillian Oliver and Clara Leonard.

 

Lillian Oliver and her sister-in-law Clara Leonard ran the establishment into the late 1960s. Melvin “Schoolboy” Beard ran it as a “house of soul food” in 1970. There was a fire there in 1986, and in 1997, the Tic Toc Diner was raided by the Omaha Police Department as part of a six-figure gambling operation. 33 people were arrested, and the diner was never re-opened afterward.

 

Ella Willis at 4106 North 24th Street, North Omaha, Nebraska
Ella Willis is working to restore 4106 North 24th Street, the former Tic Toc Cafe. Photo courtesy of REO Restoration Exchange Omaha.

 

In May 2017, Restoration Exchange Omaha announced that Ella Willis has begun restoration at the address. She plans to build the Historic North Omaha Community Center, as well as a coffee shop. Ellis is the head of the Neighborhood Action and Fact Association, and has been active throughout the community since the 1980s and before.

I hope the 4104 North 24th Street has a bright, powerful future that’s positive for ALL of North Omaha!

 


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