Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Dog House Saloon Waterloo, Nebraska -- REVIEW
307 3rd St
Earlier this summer I went tubing down the Elkhorn River, with Tubing and Adventures , and was told by the guy who runs the company that there was a great bar in Waterloo (but I couldn’t remember the name). I set out to find what looked like a “cool bar” in the half block stretch that makes up “downtown” Waterloo.
I see a place called the Dog House Saloon with a bunch of motorcycles out front, live music on the deck and a sign that says Pittsburgh Steelers on the outside. I think this was the place the tubing guy was talking about, but even if it’s not, who cares…it looks GREAT!
First Impressions: This place is honky-tonk heaven! As you walk in there is a cage for dancing on the right, a decent size bar in the middle and great people throughout the place. I sat down at the bar and was greeted by pretty much everyone sitting there. I love this place so far!
The Bar: Standard bar area. Good selection of just about anything you wanted. This is what we called growing up a “shot and a beer” place. They have signs for shots of the various “Bomb” variety, and there were plenty of people just drinking shots of whiskey too. So basically what I’m saying is don’t show up here and order a Cosmo….even if there is a disco ball in the middle of the place.
The Crowd: Friendly bikers, a Mom and her three kids, construction workers, women in their 20s…this really was a fun mix of people. To sum up the crowd, one of the owners (female mind you) told me that during football games this is the place to come if you want to “slam beers, watch football and yell at the TV!” I thought to myself for a moment and then realized…this is exactly what I like to do during football games! I’m coming back.
Service: Great service from everyone there. The bartender (who just turned 21), the waitress and even the owners (Dog and Jodi) made sure everyone had what they needed. Here is a very telling story about the service, apparently the waitress saw a few of the regulars parking their car (an older couple) and as they walked in and said hello, the waitress informed them that she saw them coming and already had a bucket of beer waiting for them at their favorite table. Now that’s service!
Price: Seemed to be about $2:50 a beer….I can live with that. There was a sign that offered $3:50 JagerBombs on certain nights…that’s a pretty good deal too. All-in-all the prices seemed to be about where I thought they should be considering the location.
Food: Your typical bar food. Everything that came out of the kitchen looked and smelled great. I was half-temped to ask the people next to me if I could sample their food. Hell, everyone was so nice at this place I figured they would have agreed to let me try some.
A/V: TVs throughout the place, a juke box and some kind of really cool-looking golf game that appeared to be Golden Tee on steroids.
Restrooms: Not great. Not unusable either. This place appears to be in an old building, so I wasn’t surprised that the restrooms were a tad bit dingy.
Bartender Chat: All the staff here are willing to talk to you about anything. But I will say this, the waitress uttered one of my favorite lines to hear at a bar of all times…(pointing at me she said) “his next drink is on me.” Music to my ears!
How Far Did My $20 Go: Twenty bucks, depending on how big of a lightweight you are, can get you on the way to a pretty nice buzz. Play your cards right, and chat with the staff, chances are you’ll get a freebie or two thrown-in as well….just don’t forget to tip well if you score a free one.
Final Impressions: Hmmm…am I willing to declare this one my favorite dive in Omaha-area to date? If not, it's pretty damn close. This place has everything you need including a great deck, great staff, fun owners, friendly people, reasonable drink prices…I could go on and on. At the very least it is a great place that, if I didn’t have prior commitments the night I was there, I could have easily stayed at from several more hours. I know this much, I plan to be a regular fixture here during football games this fall. I would higly encourage you to do the same.