Thursday, December 30, 2010
Blind Dave's Bar, Omaha -- REVIEW
Omaha, Nebraska 68137
I threw a dart at a map, and it landed on the Millard section of Omaha. I’ve never really spent much time there so I typed “Bars Millard Nebraska” into Google and immediately saw a place that caught my eye…Blind Dave’s Bar (The place to be seen). I love bars that come with their own cheesy tagline…so this place was a no-brainer. In doing my usual two seconds of research before I left the house, I learned that this place had been around for a while under the name Why Not Lounge… I like the new name way better.
First Impressions: Great…just a block or so before I get to the place, I have to pass an Omaha Police station, that is either a good thing or a bad thing. I’m still trying to figure out which one it is? From the outside, the place is kind of rundown and still has the neon sign for the Why Not, but only the word “cocktails” is lit. It’s busy for a Wednesday, the jukebox is cranking some type of Buck Owens tune, and I can’t help but catch a hint of what smells like a urinal puck in the air. So far…A-OK.
The Bar: Kind of what I expected, but actually a bit nicer that I though it would be. The bar seats about 12ish people and there are at least 20 tables scattered around the room. There are five beers on tap (all domestic swill) and one of the more sparse liquor selections I’ve seen in a while. But, what they lack in selection, they make up for with top-shelf choices like Patron, Grey Goose, Ketel One and even a single malt scotch. Also, there are more than enough flavored vodkas to keep Kitty Dukakis tipsy for months.
The Crowd: The male to female ratio was pretty close to 50/50. There seemed to be no middle ground in the ages, the people were either 55+ish regulars or under 25ish types that would get carded even trying to by a pack of smokes. What I did like about the people here is that they all paid the right amount of reverence to the older crowd. Older regulars should be given a certain amount of respect (they are dive bar rock stars after all) and even the youngest of the young in this place seem to understand that. Just who was the person that kept drinking white zinfandel? Yuck!
Service: I never did get the bartender’s name, but it was service with a smile to say the least. She was new to the bar, but she zipped all over the place making sure everyone had what they needed and always had time to talk to every boozer in the joint. Add to that she was Joan Jett cool (only with blonde hair) and you have a perfect bartender.
Prices: All beer, either draft or bottle, was $2.50...I can live with that. Mixed drinks and shots were going for $4 a pop. Keep in mind that they have mostly higher end hooch, and I have no problems with that price either. Not many specials that I noticed, only sign I saw was for $.50 off beers during football games. The regular prices here beat some bars happy hour prices, so hats off to "Blind Dave" for that.
Food: I did see bags of Doritos and a pizza oven…that was about it. One of these days I’m bringing my own frozen pizza to one of these places just to see if they will cook it for me. I can only assume at this place the answer would be “Of course!”.
Entertainment: The jukebox in this place kills! Well, at least the music everyone was playing killed. Hank Jr., Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakum and Johnny Cash…what else do you need. They have a dart board, pool table, and an pinball machine (circa 1982). Not a ton of TVs, but there are at least five around the bar which made it easy to watch the ridiculously named bowl game du jour (I miss the Weed Eater Bowl).
Restroom: Ooooops…sorry old man…I didn't mean to barge in on you. Use the lock next time. A single seat restroom, and as it turns out, the old man didn’t use the lock because there isn’t one. If for some reason you have to take more than a quick whiz here, bring a friend to guard to the door. Better yet, just see if you can wait until you get home.
Bartender Chat: A little of everything from Lady Gaga in Omaha (can we give this story a rest already) to dealing with kids that wake up early. But, this is how great the service is, Blind Dave’s does not have any of that Smirnoff wine-cooler stuff, so a patron asked what the bartender could make for her. The bartender said she would make her a few different things to see what the woman liked and that they would just figure it out from there. How cool is that. Now that’s service!
How Far Did My $20 Go: Had I gone the route of the guy next to me, I could have had two pitchers ($7.50) and two pints…all for twenty bucks. Even though I just went the regular pint glass approach, that will still bought me eight beers. Not too shabby.
Final Impressions: This is the perfect place to hunker down on a cold night. Cheap drinks, great service, killer jukebox…I could easily spend an entire night here again. As Hank Jr. lamented on the jukebox on my way out the door “nobody wants to get drunk and get loud… and all my rowdy friends have settled down”. Well maybe they don’t get too loud here, but they still love to get drunk at Blind Dave’s Bar…with no signs of settling down any time soon.