Millard – Omaha, NE

The residents of Millard, a suburb of Omaha around 10 miles away from downtown, appreciate their neighborhood: it's spacious, secure, friendly and stable. Combined with some of the lowest crime rates in both the city and the county, this neighborhood in eastern Omaha provides easy access to massive shopping centers, industrial areas and parkland. Millard’s neighborhood groups encourage civic involvement and strive to create a positive image of this Nebraskan community. If you’re looking for a place to start a family or enjoy the comforts of a modern, Western city, then Millard may be your next home.

Schools in Millard

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Millard’s restaurants and cafes demonstrate a heavy American influence, with a large number of sports bars, grills and pubs. A few Irish pubs compete with Asian eateries – Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese – and Mexican for the neighborhood’s diversity. While venues dot this large area, a quick and easy tour of Q Street provides residents with plenty of initial options. For many, the traditional eggs-and-bacon breakfast is a stanchion of Midwest cooking; and nowhere does it better than Over Easy. Open at 7 a.m., the prework crowd swing in for a creative menu with a twist on classics, such as homemade Nutella poptarts and baked egg boats. The cinnamon rolls also come highly recommended. Arrive early for the brunch buffet, as these dishes tend to disappear quickly. Twisted Cork Bistro is both wine bar and burger joint. The owners relocated from the northwest, and their food demonstrates that region’s love of seafood. Try the shrimp Cobb salad and salmon; ingredients come locally sourced whenever possible. Due to its cozy space, tables fill up fast so book ahead on the weekends. At the Thai Kitchen, big portions match moderate prices of Asian food. Not quite a takeout yet not quite a restaurant, orders arrive hot and fast here. Feeling courageous? Test the other kind of heat by ordering your meal’s spiciness on a 1 to 10 scale. Popular dishes are the classic spring rolls and pad Thai. When it comes to a nightlife scene, your choices are scattered across the neighborhood and involve dive bars, more Irish themes, a few dark lounges and DJs. Sean O’Casey’s capitalizes on corned beef and potatoes with their daily lunch specials. They also claim to make the best Reuben sandwich in town. Evening specials include cheap wings and $3 beer nights. Further down the road, the Rusty Nail’s doors have been open for decades and continue to serve much-raved about prime rib. For a classier evening, pick out a cigar and relax at Copacabana Cocktails and Cigar’s outdoor patio. Enjoy live jazz and lounge music without a cover charge. Or, head to Houston’s after 7 p.m., when the lounge fills up with well-dressed patrons eager to sample craft cocktails from the bar’s massive alcohol selection. On L Street, The Clash-themed British bar Parliament has Foosball, pool tables and darts. DJs at Rehab play top 40 hits if you want to go dancing.

History & Culture

Omaha mayor Ezra Millard laid out the city of Millard in 1870. The stretch of prairie was then named after the politician and received a few settlers from the East Coast. For the next hundred years, Millard was little more than one school house amidst a sea of grass. Survival depended on the tracks of the Transcontinental Railroad, which passed through the small town. It wasn’t until 1971 that Millard became annexed by Omaha. The neighborhood’s biggest festival occurs each August in Anderson Park. What began over 50 years ago as a backyard BBQ is now a four-day event. Proceeds from the poker run, auto show, carnival and parade help fund projects in the area. Museums are sparse on the ground here, but a 12-mile drive can take you to the Omaha Children's Museum on 500 South 20th Street.

Transportation

Everyone drives in Omaha, or so it feels when you’re stuck in traffic on Q Street. Because most city residents own a car, public transportation is limited to the Omaha Metro bus system, which runs between downtown and 180th Street, and the cities north-south limits, Highway 370 and Interstate 680. In Millard, Route 55 loops around Q Street and Millard Avenue, while Route 96/97 runs along Q Street with weekday services to downtown Omaha. The Bag ‘N Save convenient store doubles as a Park And Ride stop for this route. Buses run approximately every half hour. Most of Millard’s shopping and dining venues belong in strip malls, shopping centers or stand-alone mega stores with equally large parking lots, so finding a free space is rarely an issue. To avoid the hassle of parking outside of the neighborhood, call one of Omaha’s taxi cabs or use the Uber app to call for a ride. While bike lanes are common in central and downtown Omaha, cyclists notice they’re far less prevalent in outer suburbs. If you’re craving a bit of vehicle-free space, check out some of the paved and maintained urban trails that crisscross the surrounding areas of Papillion, Ralston, South Central and Western Omaha.

Cost

The cost of living in Millard is roughly 14 percent higher than the average cost of living in Omaha. With rental rates higher than elsewhere in the city, expect to pay an average of $736 for a one-bedroom unit. A one-way bus ticket to town costs $1.25. If you prefer to drive, you’ll pay about 4 percent less for gas than the national average. Grab a pint at the local pubs and pay $4 to $6 dollars; a mixed drink will set you back $8 or $9.

Shopping

On Industrial Road, just above Millard in the neighborhood of West Omaha, the Oakview Mall and Walmart Supercenter provide a one-stop-shop for every need. Other local grocery stores include HyVee and Bag N Save. While smaller family-owned and operated stores struggle to compete with major brands, a few manage to survive by providing specialty goods and expertise in a niche market. Olympic Cycle is one such store that specializes in bicycle sales and service. Since the 1970s, the knowledgeable staff have answered questions and offered advice; check out the online calendar for city and neighborhood cycling events. Kimberly Spa is a local shop that features specialty products and spa treatments. A “Best of Omaha” winner several years in a row, Kimberly’s offers a high-end experience for customers. For easier access, book your appointments online. The nearest farmer’s market, Tomato Tomato in Western Omaha, runs year-round thanks to its indoor setting. Over 100 vendors – many of the same you’ll see at outdoor seasonal markets – peddle their fresh wares here. Sign up for a weekly prepackaged box of bread and produce along with cooking suggestions from the farmers themselves.

Parks

Millard’s large size allows for an abundance of parks and green spaces. One of the most spectacular, Ed Zorinsky Lake & Recreation Area, curves around a peaceful man-made body of water. Pedestrians, joggers and cyclists can circle the lake’s 7.2 mile trail. Anglers try their luck from several fishing docks, while kids and boaters enjoy the water. Soccer and baseball facilities complete the area. With over 1,000 acres of parkland, it’s not unusual to glimpse deer and other native wildlife in some isolated corner. Coyote Run Park on Millard’s western side features a playground, picnic spots, bike trails and soccer fields. Further east, Englewood Park features basketball courts, a playground and more bike trails. The summer event, Millard Days, takes place each year in Andersen Park. Yet at any time of the year, residents may find their local square of grass busy with events such as birthday parties, community gatherings and recreational athletics. Dogs are welcome in Millard’s parks, though they’re not allowed off-leash in unmarked areas. Bring your canines to Hanscom Park Dog Park, the nearest dog park located in Central Omaha. The Q Street Bike Path runs from Millard Avenue to South 168th Street, connecting to the 144th Street Trail further down the road. A second popular path winds from Walnut Grove Park to either the Q Street path or Ed Zorinsky Lake path.
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