Pinewood/Bel Air Village – Omaha, NE

Attach the word "unassuming" to a neighborhood and one's interest might waver, but for residents of Pinewood and Bel Air Village, the lack of outside attention is just fine. This quiet area of Omaha rarely makes the city event calendars or police crime reports, and its online presence is practically invisible. Folks do not move here for a flashy atmosphere, but for the quiet small-town vibe. Neighborhood parks, corner bars, and chain shopping provide residents with a lifestyle balance of work and leisure. Downtown Omaha lies 13 minutes to the east, allowing fast transit to the city's hot spots while keeping Pinewood and Bel Air comfortably mild.

Schools in Pinewood/Bel Air Village

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Restaurants & Nightlife

Surrounded by two of Omaha's key commercial roads, West Center Road and Pacific Street, residents of Pinewood and Bel Air Village live next door to most of the city's fast-food joints and chain restaurants. A smattering of Mexican and Asian eateries spice things up, though the neighborhood's most popular dining options remain truly Midwestern, with old-fashioned rustic decor and menus full of meat-and-potato fare. Brother Sebastian's Steak House & Winery highlights Nebraska's beef industry, though its monastic theme feels more European than American. Waiters dressed in robes serve steaks to a background of Gregorian chants. While prices run higher than at other city steak houses, Sebastian's has won multiple city awards for its prime rib. It's open for lunch and dinner during the week but for dinner only on weekends. At Shuck's Fish House & Oyster Bar, the area's freshest seafood is flown in from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Try the lobster bisque and catfish fingers, or splurge on the Blue Pointe oysters during happy hour. The adjoining market counter also sells fish and crustaceans for home cooking. If you're looking for a strong drink, sports on TV, and a Mexican-influenced bar snack menu, stop by Tanner's Bar & Grill. The burgers here at Tanner's are a local favorite. The causal vibe and daily drink specials remain a huge draw for this local institution. Feeling lucky? Bring friends to Office West Lounge for a game of darts or pool. Don't worry about attire, because the atmosphere remains casual at these neighborhood bars. For live music, DJs, or more upscale drinking environments, head farther west along West Center Road, toward downtown Omaha.

History & Culture

Omaha's South Central and West districts expanded from downtown Omaha in the 1880s, with the growth of the city's railroad lines. In 1917, Boys Town was established in West Omaha. The Boys Town Organization was founded by Father Edward J. Flanagan as an orphanage, but today it is also a center for troubled youth. The village is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While most Pinewood and Bel Air Village residents head into South Omaha and the Old Market to find art and culture, the Cindy Evans Dance Studio and Rhythm & Hues fine arts studio provide a base for future creative growth. The Bel Air Plaza sponsors several annual events, such as the summer Blues Festival and a Christmas visit from Santa and his reindeer. The Blues Festival draws individuals and families with kid-friendly activities, local musicians, and food vendors.

Transportation

Though a passionate cyclist may tell you a private vehicle is unnecessary in Pinewood and Bel Air, having your own four wheels allows you to cover more distance in this spread-out area. The neighborhood's relatively small size and continuous streets allow pedestrians and cyclists to move comfortably through residential areas. Two Omaha Metro bus routes, 15/55 and Express 94, run along West Center Road between Lakeside Hospital and Downtown Omaha. Buses run about every 60 minutes, dropping passengers in the Old Market after an hour-long journey. Interstate 180 cuts along the neighborhood's right side, sending residents straight to downtown in 21 minutes. If you prefer not to drive, call one of the city's taxi companies. You can also use a local ride-sharing service, such as Uber or Lyft. Bel Air Plaza and commercial shopping centers provide ample free parking, and residential street spaces are unmetered and usually available.

Cost

With all its nearby retail and dining amenities, Pinewood and Bel Air supports an average cost of living slightly lower than the city average. A higher percentage of vacant properties -- 14 percent, compared to eight percent city-wide -- keeps rental rates lower than elsewhere in Omaha. Expect to pay around $700 for a one-bedroom apartment in Pinewood-Bel Air. Rely on your car for basic transportation and pay about 11 percent less than the national price of fuel. Catch the Metro bus for $1.75 per way. Local bars charge $3 to $5 for a pint of beer, while the neighborhood's casual diners and grills serve meals for around $20.

Shopping

Beside the national brand names that line Pacific Street and West Center Road, the neighborhood's shopping options include an abundance of arts and crafts, fabric, and hobby stores. ImagiKnit's small floor space overflows with specialty yarns and knitting tools. Locally-owned and operated, the store sometimes runs random hours, so call ahead for opening and closing times. If you're new to the craft, join your neighbors at one of its educational knitting nights. Also located in the Bel Air Plaza, Pinky Winkles boutique sells new and consignment designer-label women's fashion and accessories. Trunk sales and holiday specials constantly knock down prices. Follow the shop's Facebook page for the latest events and Cornhusker-related game-day deals. Find your basic food supplies at Baker's, the popular Midwest chain supermarket. If you prefer to support local grocers, Sizzl'n Kabobs stocks Mediterranean packaged goods and made-to-order hot meals. Cupcake Island bakery caters to regular sweet-tooth customers and special occasions. The Pink Champagne cupcake remains the neighborhood favorite. Tomato Tomato's indoor venue in West Omaha houses more than 100 vendors -- many of the same you see at the city's outdoor seasonal farmers' markets. Too busy to shop yourself? Sign up for a weekly prepackaged box of bread and produce, along with cooking suggestions straight from the market.

Parks

Trendwood Park is located in the northwest corner of the neighborhood, with Hell Creek running through it. Trendwood park features picnic areas, a playground, and ball fields. To the south of Pinewood-Bel Air Village, golfers will appreciate the Westwood Golf Course. Head into Downtown Omaha and visit Elmwood Park, which borders the University of Nebraska-Omaha and extends through Elmwood Golf Course. This large park includes multi-use trails, a swimming pool, a grotto, a playground, and picnic areas. For a truly unique experience, head east on I-80 until you reach the Henry Doorly Zoo along the Missouri River. Once named the "world's best zoo" by Trip Advisor, the zoo covers more than 130 acres and is home to 17,000 animals. The zoo opened in 1894. It includes the world's largest indoor desert (the Desert Dome) and the world's largest nocturnal exhibit (Kingdoms of the Night). It also has the largest cat complex in the country.
Park Place Apartments
12115 Williams Plz, Omaha, NE 68144
1 / 27
1 hr
$790 - 965 1-2 Bedroom Available Now
402-215-0589
Pacific Winds
1215 Fawn Parkway Plz, Omaha, NE 68144
1 wk
$685 - 940 1-3 Bedroom Available Now
402-999-4602
2 wks
Bel Court Apartments
2306 Village Ct, Omaha, NE 68144
$539 - 729 Studio - 2 Bedroom Available Now
866-461-9348