Odyssey offers a fine-dining experience in downtown Hastings.

In the five short years that Odyssey has been open in downtown Hastings, it has become an integral part of the community.

Odyssey, owned by Jamey Hamburger, is a full-service, fine-dining restaurant, with a friendly atmosphere.

Odyssey was born out of Hamburger’s desire to expand Winestyles and the BistroBelow’s small menu, which he operated in another location downtown.

“When we were getting ready to create another restaurant, a lot of folks wanted us to do a more upmarket fine dining that just didn’t exist in town,” Hamburger said.

Most people were willing to drive to Lincoln and Omaha to find that kind of experience, but with Odyssey now here in Hastings, they’re able to have that dining experience without driving so many hours there and back.

Though Odyssey is meant to be a fine-dining restaurant, Hamburger said that it doesn’t have to be stuffy, serious or expensive.

“We wanted to make it more accessible to people,” Hamburger said.

At Odyssey, the food is the star of the place and all the other things that can come with fine-dining aren’t as important.

Providing this experience for the Hastings community has allowed Odyssey to become a place to show off Hastings.

Hamburger said that there was a need for a professional, large-group setting and Odyssey has fulfilled that need for Hastings.

The Odyssey is used to recruit doctors to the hospital or recruit professors to the college.

“We’re very proud that it’s become such a welcomed part of Hastings,” he said.

The experience that Odyssey creates is unique to the restaurant.

“It’s a combination of a lot of things and we pay attention to those things,” Hamburger said.

From the music that’s playing, to the level of lighting, to being greeted by the host, every aspect of the experience matters.

“For many people it is because they’re looking for the whole experience of the entire evening or weekend,” Hamburger said.

It’s integral to put all these pieces together to make one great experience happen.

Hamburger said gift cards are a great way to give someone the gift of the Odyssey experience. They’ve become a place where regular people can come for a special occasion and the gift card allows people to do just that.

Hamburger grew up in Harvard. When he came back to the area, he fell in love with Hastings.

He said Hastings is the perfect size because they get to make an impact on the world.

“I’m happy to do this here. I can’t imagine doing it anywhere else,” Hamburger said.