In the heart of bustling, revived downtown Omaha is a convivial brunch beacon where fun hasn’t been forgotten. A place where airline workers, tourists, and locals alike revel in shared experiences over scratch-made, southern-influenced bites and beverages at Lula B’s.
The restaurant opened just before the Olympic Swim Trials in early June 2021—general manager Alyssa Roach joked that the grand opening was a literal case of “sink or swim.” During that time, bar manager Taylor Arensberg joined the close-knit staff as a server, quickly working her way up to her current position under Roach’s guidance.
As a journalism and business marketing student, Arensberg combines her studies with her job, collaborating with Roach on social media presence and posts as well as developing popular seasonal drink menus. Arensberg is proud of the friendships forged and the inclusive environment fostered at Lula B’s, noting, “Customers are more relaxed because staff turnover is extremely low, and we get along well, displaying great chemistry.”
The new bar manager is grateful to Roach for her constant mentorship and presence. “I’ve learned so much from Aly, the way she interacts with customers and builds relationships with regulars.” Roach’s management philosophy is effective but simple, “I treat staff how I want to be treated.” She also attributes uncharacteristically low turnover and strong camaraderie to the downtown location, declaring it an exciting place to be with new developments such as Steelhouse Omaha and Kiewit Luminarium attracting a fresh crop of visitors to the area.
The two-year-old eatery seats over 200, including 65 in a rentable party room and 40 on the covered patio. Weekend brunch service is especially busy, but staff works together to keep things running smoothly and maintain an energetic atmosphere. Though weekends are physically and mentally taxing, Arensberg thrives under pressure knowing that if she needs a moment or a breather, the entire staff is there to turn to for help or support.
Dishes such as the Smoked Chipotle Turkey Club have been staples since the start (Arensberg counts the spicy sandwich as one of her favorites), but kitchen staff is constantly striving to freshen and improve menu and drink offerings, switching things up every few months to jibe with traditional seasonal flavors.
Located in the thriving Capitol District, Lula B’s is currently open 7am – 2pm weekdays and 7am – 3pm weekends, during which time patrons can indulge in either breakfast or lunch menus. Bottomless mimosas, including the popular Magnum Mimosas (a magnum of champagne accompanied by mix and match juices), are served 10am – 2pm Saturday and Sunday, and drink specials are creative, fancy, and fun.
According to Arensberg, service is typically fast, and breakfast items such as the Strawberry French Toast and the Grownup Chocolate Chip Pancakes are solid crowd pleasers.
Highlighting and working with local businesses is important to Roach and her team. To wit, their well vodka and gin are crafted at local Old Market distillery and brewery Brickway. “When people ask, it’s nice to tell them it’s local,” shared Arensberg.
Bartenders craft their own Bloody Mary mix, starting with a base of tomato juice and Zing Zang, enhanced with “I’ll never tell” spices. The sought-after brunch cocktail is garnished with pickle, pepperoncini, pepper jack cheese, and an olive, which Arensberg said pairs perfectly with the Avocado Egg Toast.
The Tequila Mockingbird is a play on a spicy margarita featuring jalapeno-infused tequila, and for those palates unaccustomed to strong alcohol flavors, Arensberg recommends the light and refreshing Strawberry Fields, a spiked strawberry lemonade that pairs well with spicier dishes such as Shrimp Tacos.
Along with a well-curated selection of wines, the bar serves local beers such as Kros Strain’s Fairy Nectar and Infusion’s Vanilla Bean Blonde. For brunch-goers who prefer something caffeinated, the team offers an expansive menu of boozy coffee additions.
According to Roach, the Spring Fling drink menu features botanical focused, herbaceous, spritzy libations perfect for outdoor sipping on the patio—a summertime spot ideal for couples or groups who want to catch up over a variety of shared bites and drinks on balmy summer mornings.
Fans attending special events such as the College World Series will find an outdoor bar and more grab-and-go items for early games this year. “We are one of the only spots open for food and drink at 7am, so we get a lot of repeat customers,” explained Roach. In addition, the team is pleased to provide a list of staff recommendations for nearby businesses to all visitors.
Roach and Arensberg, along with the entire dedicated staff, are grateful for the chance to inject a bit of sunshine into the days of their diners. “We love seeing people from nearby events and look forward to seeing familiar faces.”
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