Ctrl Coffee And Cereal Bar

CTRL Coffee & Cereal Bar happily welcomes all with their warm staff and ‘good-vibes’. Customers are greeted by its exciting retro design that laces the interior. A line of blue, white, red and yellow stretches across the front wall over the CTRL logo, behind the bar, before climbing onto the ceiling and disappearing behind the arabesque tiles that hang from the rafters. A wall jutting out across from the end of the counter sports a collage of spray painted “Love” in various colors.

Along the north wall, opposite the counter, a wave of nostalgia hits looking at small TV’s that are hooked up to retro video consoles like the classic Nintendo systems and the Sega Genesis. Parents can bring their kids to share some of their own childhood and enjoy coffee while their kids play.

It all started when co-owners Jenny and Nick Maestas were looking for a space to open a second location for their restaurant Muchachos. Muchachos has its own coffee bar, but the Maestas always wanted to open a coffee shop and thought the space would work perfectly to actualize a new coffee bar. They enlisted graphic designer Allie Lang, who helped with Muchachos, to come up with the design, branding and color palette for the new coffee shop. They also hired a friend duo who do design work and handyman services. As a team, they came up with the out-of-the-box idea for the space.

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“There’s a lot of great coffee in Omaha, so we had to find a way to stand apart,” Jenny said. Thus, the video game inspired cereal bar was born. Every other coffee shop has muffins, brownies, and scones, but the idea behind CTRL was to recreate a childhood Saturday morning. Cereal was the perfect food to fit their theme. Customers can pick up to 3 out of 33 cereals, 2 out of 18 toppings and 1 of 5 milks.

Their specialty drinks are named after people that have inspired the Maestas. The Prince is vanilla cold brew with raspberry cold foam. The Betty White is white mocha and strawberry rose. The Bourdain is a drip coffee and espresso. They also have a Cereal Milk coffee with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, and Golden Grahams flavors.

They also have plant-based Lotus energy drinks that come from the green coffee bean extract along with other adaptogens. The drink’s composition leaves consumers without the crash or the shakes that come from other energy drinks. The Lotus Energy drinks are thematically named after video game characters like Sonic Fuel, Crash Bandicoot, and Princess Peach.

The Maestas saw an opportunity to gather, entertain, and support the Omaha community. Aside from the video games, there is a photocopy foam art machine – the ink is made from carrots and comes out as pink. Customers can download the app and print off any picture they’d like to customize their experience. Donation bins sit on the counter alongside other Omaha based goods, like OCookieOs. CTRL also showcases and supports local creators on their furniture wall filled with unique items – offering the sellers to keep 80% of sales. The goods are displayed on tables Nick painted and cut in half before attaching to the wall.

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CTRL is a hub for community, a place for families to relax and have fun and friends to revel in vintage gaming, and – of course – enjoy some good coffee.