Johnny's Café opened in 1922 as a small eight seat saloon located next to the Omaha Stockyards. Frank Kawa, the original owner, faced many obstacles including prohibition and war but as the stockyards grew Frank continue to expand the restaurant. In the 1960's Frank's son's, Jack and Tom Kawa, took over the restaurant. In the 1970's the restaurant went through a major transformation and remodel that took two years. The remodeling including laying carpet, changing the entrance, changing the exterior and installing the famous front doors and iconic dining room mural.
In the 1990's Jack's daughters, Kari and Sally, took over the day to day operations and are the third generation to own and operate Johnny's Café.
Johnny's Café has been featured in numerous publications including Midwest Living, USA Today, Men's Journal and 1000 Things to do Before You Die. The restaurant also has been voted Best of Omaha, 9 years running and was featured in the Alexander Payne movie About Schmidt.