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Welcome to the Drusts, and all residents, to downtown Lincoln

By: Carol Feineman, Editor
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I hope the Drusts are successful in their 2-year-old business dream. Mike Drust and his son, John Drust, expect their new business in downtown Lincoln to open by mid March. They’ve hired three cooks out of a workload they estimate will be about 50. That new Lincoln workload will also include waitresses, waiters, bartenders, bus crew and dishwashers. They’ve also been negotiating since a year ago March with David Rosenaur, who owns the Beermann building on 5th Street, and the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control the past several months for a liquor license. With the negotiations almost completed, the Drusts will operate Beermann’s at the site of the former restaurant, also known as Beermann’s, at 645 5th St. within two months. The Drusts are just one of thousands of families starting new business ventures every day of the week in cities throughout the United States and, for that matter, cities in every country. While opening a business is not a unique concept universally, opening a restaurant where the magnificent first Beermann’s on 5th Street closed six years ago is still gigantic news for Lincoln residents. The restaurant will help position the downtown into becoming a lively area like it was four years ago when Lincoln was nationally recognized as the fastest growing city in the United States. This is not an easy time to start a business. Risks are higher as consumers have less money to spend and business bank loans are harder to obtain, to name just two challenges. Yet the Drusts are proceeding ahead with a new restaurant, although they have no guarantees that the massive funds they are investing will be paid back. They join already great hardworking downtown Lincoln business owners, including for example Simple Pleasure’s Diana Burke, Green Goat’s Leslie Campbell, Lincoln Barber Shop Al Holland, the Wardrobe’s Kathy Dorsey and Lincoln Florist’s Jennifer Ibarra. During the national economic downfall these past few years, downtown merchants have put their sweat and their hearts into keeping Lincoln alive. Even when the majority of residents haven’t shopped downtown, merchants lining F, G, 5th, 6th and 7th streets refused to give up. Even if their business profit margins weren’t always there. Now the Drusts will add some needed excitement to downtown in the form of a new daily restaurant and event center upstairs. This weekend, I met an outgoing couple from Citrus Heights while waiting for a table at Red Lobster in Citrus Heights. The couple, who worked in Lincoln a decade ago, bemoaned the loss of Beermann’s Restaurant and Rainbow Market. When I told the couple that Beermann’s is coming back, they immediately smiled and said repeat visits to downtown Lincoln will be in their future. I also told them a building permit is now taped to the front window of the market property, now owned by Walmart. It’s not only businesses trying to make the downtown a welcoming destination. The Lincoln Area Archives Museum is finishing setting up historical displays at the former City Hall/Police Department at Beermann Plaza between 5th and 6th Streets off F Street. The Archives will reopen Feb. 4 with an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Since temporarily moving from the Civic Auditorium (because asbestos has to be eliminated from the building), the Archives is beautifully highlighting its one-of-a-kind displays for visitors and residents alike to enjoy. Hopefully, the city of Lincoln will let the volunteer, nonprofit and deserving Archives stay at this more prominent venue. The Drusts and the other downtown business-owners and organizations can’t operate in a vacuum. We, the residents, need to support them by being regular visitors. Downtown business-owners have invested their time, even in times of sparse support from residents. Let’s help the Drusts and all other Lincoln business-owners succeed by shopping locally. We can make downtown truly ours by spending a lot of our time here. Downtown deserves nothing less.