By Trent Ostrom
M’s pub was a 43-year-old Omaha restaurant located in the Old Market. It was a staple in the local scene. The food was made fresh, the environment was cozy and customers received the same high quality experience every time. The restaurant was destroyed by a fire following an explosion on Jan. 10.
Angelina Mangimelli, a senior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha studying public relations and advertising, worked at M’s Pub for four years. To Mangiamelli, working at M’s was more than just a job.
“When I began at M’s, I learned it wasn’t just a job…you were being brought into a family,” Mangiamelli said. “Instead of a few days, they spent weeks working with me so I got to know the ropes and got to know each member of the team.”
For some, a job is simply a place you earn a paycheck then go home. For the employees of M’s Pub, it was about a career and a family.
“You hear it so many times that employees at M’s are like family, but we truly are,” Mangiamelli said. “The people I worked with each day were passionate people who took ownership of every aspect of their job and the restaurant’s overall well-being.”
Mangiamelli explained how the mindset of each team member contributed to the success of M’s.
“Each one of us thought if we could focus on managing our tables well and provide quality service with good food, customers would likely come back,” Mangiamelli said. “We were like a family that always encouraged each other to do their best.”
Ever since the fire, Mangiamelli has spent more time with her co-workers outside of work than she ever had before.
“We’re always in group chats with each other and finding excuses to hang out as a group,” Mangiamelli said. “Without seeing them, it just feels like there’s something missing.”
While she has mourned the loss of M’s with co-workers, she has received overwhelming support from the University of Nebraska at Omaha community.
“The first week of classes were really difficult for me,” Mangiamelli said. “I couldn’t focus in class and it’s still extremely difficult to not think about it.”
Mangiamelli says professors showed her compassion and support.
“One of my professors gave me a hug and encouraged me the first time I walked through the door,” said Mangiamelli. “After I emailed another one of my professors I was unable to attend class, he followed up with me multiple times to check on my well-being and encourage me.”
Fellow classmates also encouraged Mangiamelli. She says the first time she turned on her phone after the fire, her inbox was filled up with texts of support.
“Friends wanted to make sure I was alright and were asking how they could help,” Mangiamelli said.
Both UNO and Omaha as a whole have shown support for M’s Pub. Members of the community have been donating to help employees in their time of need.
“A lot of people need to realize employees of M’s lost not only a job, but also a career,” Mangiamelli said. “But we’ve been blessed as the community has responded by donating.”
There are many events going on around town to benefits M’s Pub. On Jan. 29, a silent auction is being held for those 21 and older at the Sydney bar in Benson.