1830 N. 72nd Street
402 502 1880
I sat down with Wendy Bettin, owner of Maloney's Pub, to find out more of what it's like to be a female bar owner, the going rate for black market food stamps, bad pickup lines and if she's seen the door-to-door pork chop salesman lately? Let's get right to it!
HTD: So there’s 10 questions, simple stuff…there’s no wrong answer. Would you consider Maloney’s a dive bar?
WB: Ummm…that’s a good question? What do you think the definition of a dive bar is?
HTD: I would say that everybody has their own definition. But here’s my thought…it’s not so much how it looks or where it is…it’s more based on the people that are in there. It’s a more blue-collar crowd that seems to determine, to me, what makes a place a dive bar.
WB: I hang out in nothing but dive bars. So, yes, I would consider it a dive bar because I don’t hang out at non-dive bars. When I go out of town and stuff I never want go to the hot club, I want to find the neighborhood bar and see the locals. You know?
WB: I would say it is, yeah.
HTD; Question two…have you ever purchased stolen pork chops?
WB: Hahahaha…almost, but nooooo. (More on the story of the stolen pork chops can be found here.)
HTD: Has that ever happened since then?
WB: No it hasn’t. (To the bartender) Zack, have you been approached to buy any stolen meat lately?
Zack: Meat? No. I do get offered to buy food stamps all the time lately though.
HTD: What’s the going rate for food stamps???
Zack: $150 for $500 worth of food stamps.
HTD: If you can’t buy booze with it though, therein lies the problem. Let’s get back on topic, worst pickup link you ever heard?
WB: They’re ALL bad. Can I tell you the best pickup line ever? The best pickup line I ever heard was a really good one, and I’ve never heard it before or since then. I thought it was pretty original; this was before I got married obviously.
HTD: You’re married to a cop too, right?
WB: Yeah, so that kind of alleviates some of the getting hit on. SO this guy comes up to me and says, “You know who you remind me of? My sixth wife.” And I ask him, “Wow, how many wives have you had?’’ And he says “5.” You get it? I would have been his sixth wife…I thought that was a good pick up line!
HTD: See, I always like “is your shirt felt?” (Feeling the sleeve of Wedny’s shirt.) Now it is! Now THAT’S a bad pick up line! Other than you, how many ginger female bar owners are there in Omaha?
WB: I’m hard-pressed to find a female bar owner…that’s under the age of 70 Yes. I think I’m the only one, but if I’m not, I’m definitely the youngest one. I would love to meet another ginger female bar owner.
HTD: Let’s make that happen. All right, describe the typical Maloney’s regular?
WB: It’s hard to describe, because we really run the gambit of 21-50. College students to construction workers…I would say the average customer is 21-35 single, no kids. We have a pretty equal 50/50 split of men and women too I believe.
HTD: I would assume a lot of women come here, because it’s not like some crusty old dude is running the joint or anything.WB: I always wanted to create an environment where girls feel welcomed. Because I walked into a lot of bars and been like, oh my god, I’m going to get raped if I don’t get out of here. So I always wanted to create an environment where girls don’t feel like they’re going to roofied and dragged home.
HTD: Soooooo…it’s fairly roofie-free here then?
WB: Absolutely. But now you’re going to have someone write in and say they got roofied here.
HTD: After five years, is this what you expected from running a bar? Now that you’ve owned it for five years because I was here just a few weeks ago for your anniversary party.
WB: Yes and no. I expected to be rich…and I’m not. BUT, I did expect to last five years…I always thought I’d be able to make it and a lot of people don’t. I have friends that have opened and closed bars in less than a year. Is it what I expected? I think it is. I eventually wanted to get to the point where I didn’t have to be here every day, every single minute of the day. And now I’m there. And now I’m leaving for Okoboji as soon as we’re done here.
HTD: Have you personally ever had to break up a fight here?WB: Yes. Well I guess I never had to get into the middle of one here. Let me think about this. Because I’ve broken up many fights at bars I’ve bartended at before this.
HTD: Well, let me rephrase the question. Have you ever had to jump into the middle of a fight anywhere?
WB: OH YEAH! I mean, the bar that I bartended at before this place…I was just telling this story the other day. These two guys start getting into each others face and start getting ready to punch one another. And one of the guys is wearing a hoodie and I grab him by his hoodie and I pulled him back and he just turned around and swung on me, and fell back and got up and I was like...I can't believe that just happened. Did I really just get hit?
And there were two guys sitting at the end of the bar that jumped and grabbed this guy, and the bar that I bartended at had brick walls, and they put him in a chair against the brick wall and they just started punching him so his head was hitting the brick wall every time they punched him.
I called the cops and they went to his house, but he didn't answer the door but they said they were sure it was the right house because there was a trail of blood leading up to the door and a bloody hand print on the door knob. I decided not to press charges because it sure seemed like he got his...but I had a really nice fat lip for a few days.
HTD: Wow you’ve been in more fights than I have! That’s extremely impressive. OK, what was this bar before you owned it?
WB: It was called McGill’s, it was a quote/unquote “Irish” pub that did not have any Irish whiskey. They didn’t have any Irish beer. The inventory I got when I bought this place was seven bottles of Windsor and 20 cases of Budweiser.
HTD: So, it was more of a North American pub then it was Irish? Sounds like it was an interesting place. Moving on. When you’re not here, what bar do you like to hang out in?
WB: I knew that you were going to ask me that because I read the last interview that you did. I don’t go to a lot of bars, but when I did used to go to a lot of bars before I bought this place… 49er… Brothers… O’Leaver’s. Those were my hangouts.
HTD: Oh. OK. So you definitely have a certain type of bar you like. I was told though last week that Jerry’s Bar is the new 49er. Is that accurate?WB: I would say so. Actually, that’s a better answer than those other bars, because I’ve been to Jerry’s
HTD: No. I gotcha. So what’s your biggest fear of owning a bar?
WB: Ummm…being robbed. Having one of my employees getting robbed. Any type of scenario where one of my employees gets harmed…that just freaks me out. If something ever happen, I would feel guilty for that even if I wasn’t here.
HTD: Mom guilt. OK…you can’ t see these ones. This is the word association portion of our program. I’m going to throw out a word and first thing that pops into your head just blurt it out.
WB: This is going to be great.
WB: (laughs) ME!
HTD: All right, because this kind of came up the first time I was ever in here and I don’t know that we ever resolved it. Man Boobs
WB: George Wendt.
HTD: Hahahahahaha Did you see him at the Beerfest? Axe Body Spray.
HTD: This is actually the last question. What is it about your bar that you think people should know if they've never been here? And, who has OCD you?
WB: No, I don't have OCD, I just like things clean.
HTD: Because that is the most orderly cooler in town.
WB: I am OCD about that. I guess I would tell people that we have every Irish whiskey available in the state of Nebraska. It's just a real laid back place, there's always something to do, there's always something going on, trivia twice a week, karaoke, we have volleyball there's never really ever a dull moment around here.