After months of preparation, Neligh's Imperial II Steakhouse will officially open on Monday, June 27.
Manager Rene Carrera has been busy tweaking his menu options, which will feature primarily Mexican food, but will also offer some traditional American items.
On Tuesday afternoon, Carrera said he's excited that the opening is just around the corner, but he's still a little nervous about the venture.
“It's scary, but it's exciting. You know when I used to work there at El Mezcal, and that’s why I don’t feel strange about this. The people make me feel like part of the community," he said.
Carrera brings plenty of restaurant experience to the location, having managed Norfolk's El Mezcal restaurant for several years. Carrera and his wife, Alma, have two children, Alan, 18; and Valeria, 12. Building owner Cindy Hild said Alan will also help with the restaurant.
Carrera said they are still working on a couple of things, including the final menus, but now that everything else is ready, it's time to open up the Imperial II to the community.
“I am ready. Everyone knows. My partners, my cooks, my servers, they are ready and excited," he said. “It was a long process. We used to think maybe only two or three weeks, but then the process took more time. But whatever it is, we take it.”
Cindy Hild and her late husband, Bruce, purchased the building in October 2014 from Doug and Gloria Dennis. The building opened as a steakhouse for the first time in 1964. It changed hands several times until Ray Ahrens opened the original Imperial Steakhouse in 1982.
"Rene meets everything on had on my list when I was looking for someone to run it. Friendliness, hours, options and quality," Hild said. "Customer service is his number one priority."