The Old Market area of Omaha was developed as a wholesale and retail groceries market area that is located on the East side of downtown Omaha from Farnam Street on the North to Jackson Street on the South and South 10th Street on the East to South 13th on the west. However most activity was centered around Howard Street. With many of the buildings dating back to the 1800s and was home to the wholesale jobbing market with countless wharehouses and light industry.
By the 1960s with urban growth the area had fallen on hard times and decay. This created an under used area of the city with low rent retail and housing. This attracted alternative businesses and a small growing art scene. Long before the city invested millions building the area into an entertainment and retail area it was home to the underground culture in Omaha. From the hippies of the late 60s to the Hardcore Punks and Skinhead of the 80s it was the place to go and to hang out. Not only for the business like Homer's Dirty Cheap Records, The Antiquarium, Drastic Plastic, Little King's and countless other antique shops, book stores, etc...
By the mid to late 1980s gentrification had began to move in but most of the key businesses are either still open or survived well into the 2000s. Still to this day when I travel to a show in Omaha it starts with a visit to the area even if the area is filled more with tourist and weekend party types then the homeless kids, punkers, skinheads, and general rejects that occupied the area in the 1980s.
Important businesses to the Sub-culture:
- Homer's Dirty Cheap Records
- The Antiquarium
- Drastic Plastic
- Little King's