The Downtown Lincoln Association would like to thank all of the businesses, restaurants, and individuals who participated in the first-ever Shop the Blocks event on Thursday, November 17th.  The event brought 450 shoppers downtown between 5:00-9:00 p.m., and each shopper spent an average of $45 on retail items totaling more than $19,000 spent locally.

The event was kicked off at Hour Lounge on 14th & O Street, and shoppers had several hours to walk or ride in a Luxury Limousine to the 17 participating retail stores that stayed open late and offered discounts just for them.  Appetizers, desserts and drinks were served inside the stores by downtown restaurants, cafes, bakeries and coffee shops.

At the after party, shoppers were rewarded for spending their money locally by being entered into a raffle for every $20 that they spent.  Over $1,500 in gift cards and merchandise was given away to the lucky winners.

Thank you to everyone who attended the event to support Lincoln’s small-business owners. Be on the lookout for another Shop the Blocks this coming spring!

Downtown Business News | Q&A with Flatwater Toys

Tucked away in the Haymarket is Flatwater Toys, a vintage toy shop where memories of youth are saturated in each trinket. The store has become Lincoln’s hub for classic toys for years and it all started with a small, personal collection from owner Larry Small. DLA spoke with Larry to find out more about what makes his hallowed shop tick.

What have you enjoyed most about being located downtown so far?
Larry: Love the Haymarket area; it’s the only place I want to be. Farmer’s Market is a great attraction to bring people to the area. It helps to be in a wine store too!

For those who have never been to Flatwater Toys, what kind of toys/collectibles do you have to offer there?
Larry: Primarily toys of the 50’s but some from the 20’s to the 70’s. Emphasis on Western theme toys: cap guns, holsters, pony saddles, clothes. Also marionettes, record players, radios, pressed steel, guitars, race cars, airplanes, electric trains and so on.

What’s the inspiration behind the name of the store?
Larry: The Indian word Nebraska means ‘flat water’.

How did you get into the toy business?
Larry: Love to build theme displays using my toys. From there I did a web site showing the displays I had built which lead to cataloging the toys to finally selling them.

Read the rest of the Q&A at Flatwater Toys is located in the Haymarket at 105 N. 8th St. in the ‘bin 105’ wine store.

Downtown Gift Cards Make the Perfect Holiday Gift!

Downtown Gift Cards are available online at  Recipients of the gift card will have the luxury of spending their funds at more than 175 restaurants, boutiques, movie theatres, parking garages, bars, hair salons and other establishments downtown!

For questions about the Downtown Lincoln Gift Card program call 402-434-6900.

Founded in 1967, the Downtown Lincoln Association provides services and champions initiatives for maintaining and enhancing our vibrant downtown. Our vision is to create an energetic downtown environment where we live, learn, work, invest and play. DLA has evolved into a multi-faceted organization supporting a wide range of programs and activities including maintenance, economic development and advocacy.

For a complete listing of downtown businesses, events and residences visit ‘Like’ us on Facebook at

by Terry Uland, President
Downtown Lincoln Association