Restaurant Owner Beatrice’s Legendary Beans Live Through Restoration | Business premises
Scott Koperski Beatrice Daily Sun
BEATRICE — If you looked behind Delorise Omon in the drive-thru window of Rivercity Smokehouse, you’d see a painting.
The self-portrait that Omon painted about 13 years ago depicts himself surrounded by vines and holding a large pot of beans above his head.
And now, with the Beatrice restaurant permanently closed, that’s how she hopes customers will remember her.
Sure, Rivercity Smokehouse has made other things — ribs, okra, onion rings — but the beans are Omon’s legacy, one she hopes will live on once her restaurant is gone. since a long time.
“That’s what I’m here for, it’s my beans,” she said. “I’ve been selling them for 28 years.
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“In my family there are musicians, there are singers and there are cooks. I love to cook. I couldn’t think of a better way to earn a living.”
The last day of operation of Omon Rivercity Smokehouse was March 4. Omon does not own the building and the owners had been trying to sell the location for some time. She knew the day would come when her small drive-thru and take-out restaurant would close.
She described a sense of relief, but also sadness after accumulating two decades of memories.
Omon doesn’t share the recipe for her legendary baked beans, but she will share the story of how it came to be.
By accident, decades ago on the west coast.
The Lawrence, Kansas native was living in San Diego with her husband and kids, getting ready to go to a potluck dinner on the beach.
His work? Bring the beans.
“It was mostly Africans and this time we were barbecuing, so I decided to make my own baked beans,” she recalls.
“Trying to get everything ready to go to the beach, with the kids, cooking and all that, I really screwed up those beans. I can’t say what I did because it’s my secret, but i did what i did and everyone started raving about the beans to the point where my husband said go to the car get a notebook and write down exactly what you did .”
The bean recipe stuck in his mind until a few years later. Omon moved back to Kansas after getting divorced to be closer to her family and decided to open a restaurant. She found gear at auctions and stored things in her family members’ garages until she had everything she needed.
Its first take-out establishment opened in 1994.
It was a dream come true, quickly followed by tragedy when her son, Samuel Omon, was killed in a car accident two months later.
As she worked through her grief, Omon held other jobs for about a year and a half before deciding to get back into the restaurant business.
She operated the restaurant in Lawrence, Kansas, for a few years, but her family was still dealing with Samuel’s death.
A friend of her son Effiong had family in North Platte. It seemed as good a place to move as any.
On his way to check in with his brother, Omon passed through a small community. A town called Beatrice.
“I’ll never forget stopping on Court Street and needing gas,” Omon said. “We met a few people while fueling up and talked about finding a place to open my restaurant. They said to try here.
“My dad came to see Beatrice and he loved it. That’s why I moved in with Beatrice.”
Omon eventually secured the location at 422 S. Sixth St., but not before tragedy struck again. Effiong Omon died by suicide.
“It was another blow,” she said.
But the smoking room was there for her. She opened it for the beans, but since the barbecue was part of the puzzle, she sold it too.
Now 64, Omon said she is ready for her next adventure and plans to start a restaurant business in the near future.
“I want to do this because I know that through this I can continue to sell my beans,” she said. “People who have never tired them might get the chance.”