After the barrage of people came to Kountze Place for the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Expo, there was a small stampede of businesses opened to serve the working class neighborhoods along North 16th Street. This is a history of one of the store buildings opened at 3702 North 16th Street.
Standing on the northeast corner of North 16th and Pratt Streets, this building was constructed as a grocery store in 1900. By the 1930s, it was a corner tavern. Almost every other corner along North 16th Street had a corner tavern for the workers leaving ASARCO and the Union Pacific Shops in North Downtown, workers at the Storz Brewery and the Consolidated Mills down 16th, workers at the railroad roundhouses in the Sulphur Springs area, and others throughout the area. For the next 40 years, this bar changed hands but kept the same purpose. In the 1940s, one tavern owner reported that there were “10 or 15 taverns” just near the intersection of North 16th and Locust alone.
The Meckley & Myers Grocery Store was located there in the early 1910s. L. Neverloff bought the grocery store there in 1917, and in 1921 Max Blasser ran it.
A pair of robbers called the “Red Bandana Bandits” robbed Blasser in 1923, taking $497.35. He left the business afterwards, and sold it to S. Wiesman. Wiesman ran it for four years. Otto Mummer ran the grocery store for almost 15 years from 1929 until he died in 1942.
In 1933, Emma Grewatz owned the building and renovated the storefront. When she was done, there were three apartments, a tavern and a barbershop at the address.
Ross Caniglia ran the tavern in the 1940s, and in 1947, Tommy Grogan moved his bar from West Farnam Street to this building and called it the Ringside Bar. Grogan was popular in local boxing circles for his “one burning ambition” to manage “a top-flight boxer, preferably a heavyweight…” However, the Omaha City Council targeted Grogan for enforcement, and he was shut down after selling to an underage patron in 1948. Celia K. and John D. Tworek owned it next and called it the Pratt Street Pub and Johnny’s Corner Bar. A barber shop was located at the address in 1950.
In 1957, the Tworeks sold their bar to Frank Teresi, who ran it with a partner and called it Frank and Jerry’s Bar. He didn’t last though, and by the late 1950s Don Blazek ran the Cozy Corner Bar on the corner. In 1965, the bar was sold to Frank Dalbey for around $20,000. Called “a good business/residential area,” the spot claimed $3,500 a month in revenue. Dalbey initially called it Frank and Vi’s Cozy Corner, then just Frank and Vi’s Bar. The Dalbey’s were held up at gun point several times in the 1960s. In 1971, Frank Dalbey died, but the bar kept running.
The bar closed permanently in the 1970s, and the barber shop did too.
Today, this building stands as a 3,000 square foot residence. There are no businesses in the building and there’s no acknowledgement of its contributions to the neighborhood’s history, either as a cultural location or business.