14210 Pierce Plaza
Omaha, NE 68144-1037
The back story on why I picked this place goes like this, when I moved to Omaha six years ago I would drive past this the Rusty Nail all the time. It looked like a cool little dive, so I declared to my real estate guy (who was showing me houses), that I was going to make the Rusty Nail Inn my regular hangout! Flash forward until August, 2010 and I have still never set foot in the place. That was until yesterday. Safe to say it will be another six years before I would ever consider setting foot in there again.
First Impressions: For being in a setting connected to other buildings (including a barber shop) it has a nice dive feel on the outside. Walking through the front door you walk into the smell of something being deep fried…never a bad thing. It’s a bit dark and awfully quiet, even though there are a decent amount of people at the bar, and even more outside on the smoking veranda (you never get a chance to use that word enough).
The Bar: There are a lot of seats around the bar, but at least 5 of them are stuffed into corners and behind video poker-type games. There is a mix of cleaning supplies littering the area behind the bar (including a can of Febreze…flatulence problems perhaps?). The place does have a bit of a Western theme, which is what I had hoped, and seems to be cut in half by booths that separate the bar area from the Rusty Nail "inner sanctum" area (more on that in a bit).
The Crowd: A smorgasbord of boozy bar types. You name it, they had it. Half drunk 60 year old cougar? Got it. Middle aged bar flies? Got it. Tatted-up 30ish types smoking and dropping the F bomb? Of course! Not a bad crowd I suppose, but everyone sat fairly quietly (like the elementary school lunchroom) looking directly ahead and not doing much of anything. It suddenly occured to me…wonder how long I have to sit in a bar to give a proper review. It was then I came up with my new standard…minimum three drinks.
Service: Hello? Service?? Hey…look over here. I WANT A BEER. Please. Just one? It took nearly five minutes for the Baby Spice-looking bartender to be pulled away from doing absolutely nothing and take the required six steps to see if the person who walked into her bar a while ago just MAYBE wants something to drink. She took three more steps, poured me a draft beer, handed it to me and walked away. I gave her a hardy “Thank you!” Her response? “Yep.”
Price: Three bucks for a pint of domestic beer. Ummmm..OK. Any specials? No. Happy hour prices are a dollar off everything. That seems, well, adequate enough. No need to hurt yourself attracting new business I suppose? A couple next to me ordered a pitcher for $7. The pitchers are cheaper than buying three beers and you get more than three beers? Thanks for the heads up bar lady!
Food: They have a full menu, and something did smell pretty good. Maybe their strong suit is food. It sure isn’t running a bar, but alas, I will never know because I’m not going back.
A/V: A couple of smallish TV’s, one dimly lit projection TV, and a lonely jukebox in the middle of no where that no one was interested in playing. There was music coming from overhead speakers, but it was on so softly it did nothing to make the mood in the place any better. They did have signs for a DJ on Thursday nights, not sure how that could do anything to make this place better, but who knows?
Restrooms: Easily the best part of my trip to the Rusty Nail Inn. They weren’t great, but they didn’t have too much competition from the rest of the place. They are a neon blue, pretty large, and contained my favorite graffiti prose, “Here I sit all broken hearted…”
Bartender Chat: Clearly this was going nowhere. But I figured, why not give it a shot! I inserted my rather large mouth into the middle of a conversation about the difference between draft and bottled beer. “I like both” I said loudly down the bar. Baby Spice said “I don’t.” When I pressed her on why, her retort was rather blunt, “I just don’t”. Oh screw it, this is going no where…better chug this last one and get out of here.
How Far Did My $20 Go: Had I known about the pitcher price, I could have had two pitchers for $14! Instead I had three pints for $9 and got the hell out of there. Just enough money left to go to the Kum & Go and encounter the drunkest man in America!
Side Note: Like I said there is a place behind the bar area that has pool tables, some other sports games, and a rockin’ game of Texas Hold ‘Em being playing by roughly 8 dudes at a poker table…something seemed shady so I was not in the mood to take a picture and then get the shit kicked out of me.
Final Impressions: Bad service, weird vibe and no drink specials to speak of…why in the world someone would come in here more than once is beyond me? I couldn’t even make a left out of the place to go West on Pacific (the way I wanted to go)…so that just added to the “I’m never coming back here again frustration”. Do not hit this dive! This place can easily be summed up by the writing on it’s own restroom wall “Here I sit all broken hearted…”
1 (A new low!)
(I made a return trip here in April 2011...Rusty Nail Round Two).