The M.A. Disbrow Sash and Door Co. was founded in 1856 and began operations in a small 24 by 48-foot building located only a few hundred feet east of our dining room. In order to meet an ever-increasing demand for products, in 1878 the company embarked on a $30,000 expansion. A tidy sum in those days! The development included an office (where the dining room is located) and a new 100 by 264-foot plant building. One section of the plant was three stories high. Employment was increased to 75.
After the expansion the firm offered entire storefronts, office and bank counters, and church interior. Many of these early Disbrow products are still found in homes and business buildings throughout the country.
Affectionately known throughout the city as "Ma," Mr. Disbrow died in 1906. The factory eventually closed in 1925 and the business was shifted to the Omaha branch office that had been established in 1886. The buildings were razed except this structure and the drying kiln (which for some time served as the Schneider Produce Company Warehouse).
W.B. Disbrow, one of the firm's founders, donated the building in the early 1930's to the newly organized Ex-Servicemen's Association which had been meeting in a room at the rear of the George Hanson barber shop. The group thrived from the outset and soon had its own uniformed band for parades, an honor guard - in uniforms of its own design, and its own post flag.
The walls of our dining room once were lined with slot machines, which provided a steady flow of cash for the organization. However, a state crackdown on the "one-armed bandits" in the 1940's changed all that. That blow, coupled with difficulty of recruiting new members and leadership, led the surviving 15 charted members to disband the organization in 1967. The property was sold to the Knights of Columbus, who maintained headquarters for the next 20 years.
Stop and dine; browse through our rooms, examine our collection of historical photos and any other features that may interest you.
Contact us to book a table for any occasion. We accept reservations for up to 20 people.