Wohlner’s Neighborhood Grocery

Three bay commercial building. One-story, brick, with shingled awning across front.
Wohlner's Neighborhood Grocery relocated to Aksarben in 2008.

David Calease, NPS

Quick Facts
5203 Leavenworth Street
Ethnic Heritage (European); Commerce
National Register of Historic Places
Private Property Owner
Wohlner’s Neighborhood Grocery is a one-story brick commercial building constructed in 1920 for Ben Newman, a Jewish immigrant, to house his new grocery business. Newman’s business occupied the building until 1940, when another Jewish immigrant, Albert Wohlner, opened Wohlner’s Neighborhood Grocery, in the space.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the building represents the success of small independent grocery stores and the enduring legacy of Jewish immigrants in Omaha. Albert Wohlner was a powerful player in Omaha’s larger grocery sphere in addition to running his own store. He was just one of the many Jewish immigrant grocers who left downtown Omaha and moved their stores into the suburbs. Jewish immigrants first arrived in Nebraska as early as the 1850s, but it was the later immigrants who made their mark on Omaha’s business community. These later immigrants resided and established businesses throughout the city but did not always live in the Jewish enclaves that emerged near the packinghouses in South Omaha during the late nineteenth century.

The Wohlner and Newman families immigrated from Russia/Belarus to Omaha, were successful in the grocery business, and became leaders in maintaining the rich culture of the Jewish people through their association with the synagogue and cultural center. A newer Jewish Community Center in West Omaha and the on-going publication of The Jewish Press continue to sustain and nurture the Jewish culture in Omaha.

Last updated: September 19, 2022