One man’s matchbooks

Today in the World-Herald Matthew wrote a great column about one man’s collection of matchbooks that celebrate the rich history of Omaha restaurants.

I was lucky enough to go along with Matthew when he met Rich Yost and his wife, Kim. And I brought my camera, because it’s not every day that a man who owns 208 matchbooks from restaurants invites you over to take a gander.

What I loved about Rich’s collection was that it revealed his wife’s and his tastes in restaurants - diverse, to put it mildly. There are fancy restaurant matchbooks. Matchbooks from buffets. Matchbooks from places that were trendy in the 1980s when I was an Omaha kid that I remember my parents talking about.

See: The Neon Goose, Gallagher’s, A Sidewalk Cafe and Bombay Bicycle Club.  I ate at the Bombay Bicycle Club once and remember loving it for reasons I can’t recall now. It might have just been the name, which still strikes me as rather glamorous. I drew on paper tablecloths at the Neon Goose.

Rich doesn’t discriminate on what kind of restaurants he took matchbooks from. See: Runza Hut, Rax and Lum’s. (I also took these photos for my friend Brad, who might love old-school Omaha even a bit more than I do.)

Rich’s matchbooks capture the history of old Omaha steakhouses, many now gone.

There were places I’d heard of — V. Mertz — and places I hadn’t — Reuben’s, Stuart Anderson’s and Nasr’s, the place Rich and Kim had their very first date.

There was the place I went with a group of girls for a homecoming dance in the mid-1990s.

And the place my husband and I went on our first date and later got engaged, the French Cafe.

See anything that jogs your own memory? Let me know in the comments. And special thanks to Rich for letting us visit and letting me photograph his matchbooks.

This entry was posted in Omaha, OWH Extras, Restaurants and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.