Jukebox Skipping

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Second Annual Spring Stumble -- UPDATE

This SATURDAY, April 28...who's ready to hit a few bars?  And this year...we have a bus!
What:  Second Annual Spring Stumble
When: April 28, 2012
How to Attend: Just show-up to the Millard Roadhouse at 4:30.  

OR, better yet, meet us at the Brass Monkey (36th and V) at 3:30 and take a party bus that will give you round-trip transportation to and from the Monkey, and guarantee that you will have the most fun you can have on a Saturday afternoon (with your pants on of course).  

If you're interested in taking the party bus, email hitthatdive@gmail.com because space is limited.  The bus ride costs $10 BUT all bus riders are automatically entered into a raffle to win a limited edition bottle of Mr. Butt's Tequila.  What's Mr. Butt's Tequila you ask?  It's a Hurradura double barrel reposado that was made exclusively for Mr. Butts Tobacco and Snacks. That's a $40 dollar bottle of tequila!!

And don't forget, the bar crawl ends at the One-N-Go Saloon for the always awesome goldfish races. Keep checking www.hitthatdive.com or the HitThatDive Facebook page for updates.  See you Saturday!

The tentative list of bars includes the following:
13325 Millard Avenue
Omaha, NE 68137

As we learned last year...it's probably good to eat something before drinking in 6 or 7 additional bars.  Try the broasted chicken. 

13336 Millard Avenue  
Omaha, NE 68137

I made it into Joe's for the first time a few months ago, and I've been looking for a reason to have a few more beers there ever since.   
13328 Millard Avenue  
Omaha, NE 68137

Even though it is literally right next door to Joe's Duck Inn, I've never been in here.  Looks like a good place to me.  
4936 So. 135th
Omaha, NE 68137

I know nothing about this one either, but it's between Piccolo's and Blind Dave's Bar...so what the hell...it made the list.  
5082 South 136th Street  
Omaha, NE 68137

I like this place and it has a decent patio-area out back.  They even include the HitThatDive review right on their website.  
4917 South 136th Street  
Omaha, NE 68137

The day will end here for the one and only goldfish races!

Some of last year's Spring Stumble participants. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dort's Bar & Grill, Papillion -- REVIEW

129 North Washington Street
Papillion NE 68046
Once a bank?

A few years ago I was talking with Jaret Reddick (the lead singer of Bowling for Soup) a few hours before they were playing a gig in Papillion.  I asked, kind of as a joke, if the venue called "The Rock" served beer.  I was surprised when he quickly responded by saying “Dude, that place is dry!”  Having never been to Papillion before that day, I asked him what to do for a few beers before the show…his answer was a place called Dort’s.  If it’s good enough for the guy who sings “Hooray for Beer” I’m sure it will be fine with me.  Fast-forward several years…and I have not been back there until this weekend.

PROS:  No frills.  Old school.  Great-smelling prime rib.
CONS:  It’s in Sarpy County…aka Sarpy cops.

Old school bar
First Impressions:  Wingman for the day Speck noted, as we walked up to the front door, that Dort’s looked more like the outside of a bank than the outside of a 50 year-old bar.  I had to completely agree.  There was a bit of a funky smell as we took a seat at the bar, but that’s not all that uncommon in older bars.  It was pretty quiet, so we made sure not to disrupt the three patrons watching an Abbott and Costello movie. 

The Bar:  It looks like just about any other old shot and beer place that were on every street corner in  Western Pennsylvania when I was growing up…so I immediately felt right at home.  There are four beers on tap and a relatively well-stocked cooler of a wide variety of bottled and canned beer.  By the way the rest of Dort’s is set up, it looks like they are getting ready for a good ‘ole hunky fire hall wedding.  And bring the kids, they  have a back room with several video games.

The Crowd:  Speck and I made the total number of patrons exactly 5 once we sat down.  Check that, one of the guys at the bar was also the bartender…so make that 4 patrons and one employee.  We were the only two not eligible for AARP benefits, and unlike the “hipsters” around town who drink PBR because it’s the in thing to do…the one old dude was pouring his PBR into a glass right out of the can.  Now THAT’S how you do it you bunch of dorks at the Homy Inn!

No frills...good times
Service:  Want service with a smile?  Go to the mall.  Want a crusty old bartender to get you a beer?  Come to Dort’s.  He seemed like a fine enough guy, but I can usually size-up a bartender who is not in the mood for a few strangers to strike up small talk when he has shit to do.  But also not surprising, our glasses were never empty.

Price:  We were paying $2.25 for a pint of domestic beer…well Speck was paying…I was freeloading for the day.  I did see a sign that happy hour is Monday-Friday and that will get you $1 draws and $2 bottles.  Better than half off a draft beer at happy hour…now that’s how you do it Rusty Nail!

Food:  We didn’t eat…but the prime rib the bartender was making for that evening’s dinner special smelled amazing.  They have great lunch specials listed for everyday of the week, and in doing a quick Urbanspoon review, Dort’s gets great reviews for their food. 

A real PBR drinker!
Entertainment:  Does Sarpy County have their own Keno?  For once I saw something other than Big Red Keno called Players Keno…not that I pay Keno it just looked a bit strange.  They have a few TVs around the bar…some of which seem to only be on rabbit ears.  And like I said earlier, there is a separate room in the back that has a few video games and one of those eat-all-your-quarters crane games. 

Restrooms:  The bar is 50 years-old, I assume that the building is older than that, so they are pretty much as expected.  Not great.  Not awful.  In a nice touch for a bar bathroom…there were even fake flowers in the men’s room.  Now there’s a first!

Bartender Chat: Name. Rank. And drink order. 

How Far did Speck’s $20 Go:  Eight pints is not too shabby at all since we were there during a non-happy hour.  Show up during the week between 4-6 and 20 bucks will get you 20 pints…bring a driver if slamming 20 beers in two hours is on your agenda.

Flowers...nice touch!
Final Impressions:  This is an old-school, no frills place to have a few cheap beers and possibly hang around for a real home-cooked lunch or dinner.   If you need ambience, some sort of boat drink, or "fancy" yourself a club goer…do not waste your time here. In fact don’t come here ever…you will ruin the atmosphere.   But, if you’re someone like me who feels at home in an older bar, with an older crowd and are content having a few beers while watching a 65 year-old black and white movie, all I can say is HIT THIS DIVE.  


50 years and going strong!

Monday, March 5, 2012

North Shore Tavern, Omaha -- REVIEW

Strip mall bar
10148 Maple Street  
Omaha, NE 68134
I received an email two weeks ago from Tim M. of Omaha and he wrote, “Hey - I am curious about the North Shore but haven't been there yet - I am lazy and babysitters are expensive so I think you should check it out. Not just for me, of course, but for all of your readers.”  See, at least someone is looking out for the HitThatDive readers!

Pros:  Could do much worse.  Friendly staff. Fine enough for a strip mall bar.
Cons:  Prices seemed a bit high.  The loud-ass table of women behind me!

First Impressions:  Another strip mall bar…is there anything I won’t do for my readers?  A walk through the front door and I was pleasantly surprised that this looked like a decent bar to have a few drinks and kill some time.  And, is was pretty hopping for a Friday afternoon happy hour.  So far, I’m a bit surprised…in a good way.

Watch the cord
The Bar:  There was a good selection of 16 draft beers on the wall, and more choices than just the usual swill that I drink.  The bar itself is a long “L” shape, but it is a more than comfortable place to throw back a few beers.  Other than that, it’s stocked with pretty much what you would expect in a neighborhood watering hole, and it’s a very orderly looking bar area.  The room itself is kind of an odd shape, which makes this place much larger on the inside than it appears on the outside.  There are more than enough tables to easily find a seat, and there is even a dedicated foosball room in the back.

The Crowd:  This varied wildly.  A good-natured (and chatty) 60 year-old dude to my right, 21-year old wannabe tough guys to my left, and a table of what seemed to be the entire cast of Bridesmaids sitting behind me that would not shut the hell up!  From what I can tell, this is an older drinking crowd during the day, and once the older drunks stumble home around 7:00p.m. a pack of younger ones comes in to take their place.  Keep in mind, that is strictly my “expert” guess on my part. 

Big selection
Service:  No complaints here at all.  The cute afternoon bartender knew all of her regulars by name and drink order, was quick with the refills, and had just the right amount of attitude (with a smile) to hold her own ground with any drunk in the place.

Price:  I was paying $3 a pint for domestic beer and I also saw a sign that domestic bottles went for $3.50…nothing to write home about here.  There also was a sign for $10 buckets of Busch and Busch Light "all day every day".  A lot of the older dudes were drinking pitchers, so maybe that’s the way to go when you’re here.  I was thinking it would have been more like $2.25 for a happy hour beer in a bar like this…but apparently I was wrong. 

Food:  None that I could see.  But, it is in the same strip mall as a Valentino’s, so if you get hungry you can go there and pig-out on some room temperature below-average food.  Enjoy!

Plenty of room
Entertainment:  Aside from the foosball room there are dart boards and a pool table right as you walk in the front door.  Again, pretty standard stuff for what you expect to find in a bar like this from the second you walk through the door. 

Restrooms:  Now this I was looking forward to because according to Tim M. “A buddy of mine apparently has been to the North Shore; he said the bathroom gave him waking nightmares for 3 days. So you have that to look forward to.”  Were they pretty bad…yes.  Were they the worst-ever…not so much.  They are bad, trust me on that one…but I have unfortunately been in much worse.  On a side note, for 50 cents you can buy a “French tickler…ribbed for her pleasure” from a machine on the wall if you dare.  Maybe I’m selfish, but I always turn those things inside-out for MY pleasure!

Bartender Chat:  I thought this was odd, the bartender was asked by one of the regulars if she could turn up the volume on the jukebox.  In an odd response by her manager, he told her “I don’t want to turn it up because it’s happy hour.”  Is there not a better time to crank a jukebox then during a Friday afternoon happy hour??

How Far Did My $20 Go:  Six pints…which isn’t horrible I suppose.  But, it was happy hour and I was drink crap beer, I would have like to see my twenty bucks go just a bit farther then it did.  Oh well…

Final Impressions:  I liked it.  Did I love it…probably not.  It’s a good enough bar with a fun drinking vibe.  And for where it’s located, they’ve done a good job of making it look and feel like a regular-old neighborhood tavern.  By all means, if you’re ever in the area don’t avoid this one, but there’s no reason to drive halfway across town just to come to the North Shore Tavern…unless you need some French ticklers from a vending machine. 

I dare you
North Shore Bar on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 3, 2012

HTD Reader of the Week!

It's always a bit shocking to me that anyone actually reads HitThatDive.com.  So it was even more shocking to post a picture on HTD Facebook page yesterday, as I took a seat at the Crescent Moon Ale House for happy hour, and immediately get a comment from Nick Belt that he was throwing back a few there as well.  So, thanks for reading Nick you are the first-ever HitThatDive Reader of the Week...hope to see you again at the Elbow Room...soon!

HitThatDive reader of the week...Nick Belt!