Omaha entrepreneur Larry Richling, who struggled to remain solvent during the recession and credit crisis, now is outfitting a historic building in the Old Market as a simulated 1940s department store, reports The Omaha World-Herald.
The sprawling former Fairmont Creamery at 12th and Jackson Streets will house a candy store, a burger-pizza-hot dog joint, an antique mall and more, becoming a unique nostalgia center and tourist attraction.
Richling believes his latest endeavor, due to open this month, will become FAMOUS — the initials of the Fairmont Antique & Mercantile, Omaha’s Ultimate Store.
“This will be an Omaha icon,” said Richling as he picked his way through the crowded building, with the enthusiasm of a man who sees fun possibilities in his collection of commercial contraptions.
The building’s displays will include dozens of collectible candy bar cartons, from Almond Joy to Zagnut; vintage Pez dispensers; coolers with rare soda pop brands; a wall of dispensers for M&M varieties; life-sized plastic statues of the Blues Brothers; a pink, finned Cadillac; the marquee from the now-closed Cinema Center near 84th and Center Streets; a 1931 popcorn truck with a peanut grinder; a 1970s-style working telephone booth for free calls; poster and T-shirt printing equipment; and a small theater in which classic movies can be screened or meetings held
Photo by The Omaha World-Herald.