Fundraiser brings community together for long time favorite South Omaha restaurant

Adriana Valadez Cue, Section Editor

One of South Omaha’s most beloved family-owned Mexican restaurants burned down on Dec. 23. The fire destroyed Nettie’s Fine Mexican Food raising questions about whether the owners would choose to rebuild; many are also concerned about the effect on employees. Shortly after the fire, a GoFundMe was set up to assist the employees and conversations started about a larger fundraiser to be held in January.  The GoFundMe stopped accepting donations after raising over $32,000 for the family and employees of Nettie’s.  The family held a fundraiser at Stock’s n Bonds on Jan. 22 from 12 pm to 8 pm to just have fun and enjoy memories that the restaurant held for the family and customers alike. It had live music all throughout the day, raffles, a silent auction, face painting, and a bake sale.  

The family-owned the land that Netties sat on, so it still belongs to the family. 

The family plans to rebuild Nettie’s over time when they can but for now, they are trying to take it one step at a time.  

“We’re just trying to do, you know, one day at a time . . . the main focus of this benefit is to help our employees that are displaced even if they can find another job right away,” Michelle Lyons, daughter of the current owner said. “They are also still helping employees and all who have worked for them because it’s not just boss and its employees it’s a whole family to everyone there.” 

The family has still been impacted greatly emotionally, as Lyons said  

“We are emotionally attached as much as they are financially attached to it. But there it’s one day at a time. We have a family in between.”   

It was a first for the Nettie’s family to be on the receiving end of a fundraiser. The restaurant was known throughout the community for its generosity from handing out meals to facilitating fundraisers in the restaurant. To the family, it was overwhelming in a great way to the people of Nettie’s. They are now seeing the reincorporation that they could have never anticipated from everyone within the community who have been and known about Nettie’s.    

“But now that we’re here it’s really a beautiful thing to see the city come together and you know choose to come together and surround us with love and refill,” Lyons said. “Whether it just be a monetary donation or even just a very nice comment on Facebook. We appreciate everything.”