Wednesday, August 18, 2010
ZOGs Omaha -- REVIEW
Omaha, NE 68130-2564
ZOGs IS NOW CLOSED. BUMMER!!!!!!!!
I was undecided where to go, so I headed to an area where I knew there were a few fairly shady-looking dive bars to see which one would make a good place to stop. I drove past a place called ZOGs, which is located right next to a pre-school I might add, and thought “dive bar next to a pre-school? I’m in!”
First Impressions: Well, that’s a funky smell. The place was much larger than I thought it would be…and a lot cleaner too. There were a handful of (what I assume to be regulars) at the end of the bar having a heated discussion about the best numbers to play in Keno. I was actually a bit disappointed that the place was not a dump, I think I was in the mood to write something negative. Damn!
The Bar: A long bar that can easily seat 25 people and a ton of tables and chairs throughout the place, so getting a comfortable area to sit here does not seem all that hard to do. They have three dart boards, a boxing machine, two pool tables and a pinball machine. The bar itself is very clean-looking with lots of options on beer and other liquor, including a machine that chills many shots including tequila (I’m going to pass on that one for now). Even Guinness on tap, that was a nice surprise.
The Crowd: Four people were there when I walked in and that number went to about 10 by the time I left. Let’s just call the first four that were in there “hard drinking regulars”. Nice enough people, I’d even call them friendly. The dress code was very clear, all ball caps must be on backwards! A few 30ish looking Joes came in and asked the bartender if this was the place with the cheap beer. The bartereder said that it was…wait until you hear this drink special when I get to that section!
Service: The bartender looked a bit like Ben Roethlisberger, shamed quarterback for the Steelers, just with a ton of tattoos. But, he was everything a bartender should be, quick with the drinks, funny, friendly yet with a bit of a don’t f*** with me persona. He must have graduated head of his class at the Dive Bar Institute.
Price: Three bucks for a draft of what looked like a 20 ounce beer…it was definitely bigger than just a pint. Now, to the killer promotion that the average Joes asked about. On Tuesday nights, you pay $5 for a wristband that gets you $1 pitchers from 8:00 pm until closing. They must never advertise this special because three people bought the writsband and the bartender remarked that was the most he had ever sold. Keep in mind the “special” is for Keystone only. You have been warned! Here was another interesting tidbit, they still will sell you a drink here on credit, then you just pay your tab at the end of the month.
A/V: Eight TV’s throughout the bar, the standard jukebox and looks like they have a DJ area. Only problem was that some dumbass put Lady Gaga in the jukebox. In a DIVE BAR? Dude, are you serious!
Restrooms: Nice! Clean. Big. No smell. Wow, I though for sure I was going to find something negative about this place in here.
Bartender Chat: Funny guy to talk to, and he even used the word “schnockered” in a sentence…bonus points for that! Other than that, he was just your typical shoot-the-shit kind of bartender that the word seems to be sorely lacking these days.
Final Impressions: This place, more than any others so far, really surprised me. I felt comfortable from the moment I walked in which does not always happen at dives of this nature. And get this, there was a sign in the restroom that the bar is for sale (to well-qualified buyers). Who wants to form a partnership and buy this place with me? Great specials, clean place, great service, (OK being next to a pre-school is odd) but other than that…I really liked this place. There is not doubt in my mind that you should Hit This Dive.