Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Best Pub, Omaha -- REVIEW

9305 South 145th Street
No tell, motel/bar

Omaha NE 68138
402 932 1140

Admit it.  You've driven past this place before and thought to yourself one of two things.  One...is the damn place even open?  And, two...if it IS open...why in the world would I spend an evening drinking in the most nondescript bar in town that is attached to a fairly seedy-looking "no-tell, motel"?  On top of that, my track record of drinking in local motel bars is not a very good one, dating back to my days in Pittsburgh where a group of us got kicked out of a "motor lodge" by a pirate before we ever walked in the front door.

This trip to The Best Pub marks my second attempt to waltz in here for a few beers.  On my first attempt, too many visions of men who keep "The Gimp" in a travel trunk danced through my mind as I made a feeble attempt to open the front door.  I quickly decided to myself that indeed this place HAD been closed down and quickly hopped back into my car.  A note on Facebook a month or so ago from one of the bartenders let me know that they were still very much open...well then...let's try this again.

PROS:  Gail the awesome bartender.  $2.50 domestic draws. Good blue collar regulars.
CONS:  It really is kind of a dump.  Under "renovations" for months.  Restrooms are in the no-tell, motel. 
Inviting!

First Impressions:  This place still looks closed to me.  I pull my car into the lot and hangout for a bit. Yeah, that doesn't look too shady...a single dude sitting in his car, alone, in the parking lot Red Carpet Inn...waiting to see if there any signs of life.

After 10 minutes of looking like I was there to either buy or sell certain illegal "services", I decided to finally take off the training wheels and try the front door. 3-2-1 PULL!  SHIT!  No bar...just some creepy-looking steps leading downward.  Oh, and I love the paint color, early American primer and spotted red paint, I assume?  I walk into the empty bar and encounter two people and anticipate, at any second, I will hear "Sorry, but we're closed for renovations." Oddly enough I heard "welcome".

The Bar:  Surely this was designed originally as some sort of storage area.  Low ceilings, spotted unpainted walls, and no decor whatsoever. Basically, this looks like someone that gave up the dream of a really cool bar in their basement and decided they could get drunk no matter what it looks like as long as there's booze.  The bar itself seats eight people and does have a small but decent collection of hooch.  There also are four beers on tap and 12 or so loungy tables and chairs that would be the perfect romantic spot to take a date that you found minutes earlier on Craigslist before you check into the Red Carpet Inn and inquire if they offer a "short stay" rate (sheet deposit not included).  Of note, the only thing hanging on the walls was a flyswatter.

Under Renovations
The Crowd:  When I was there it was me and three dudes.  One of them seemed to be resident of the Red Carpet and the other two must have worked in the area detailing cars.  No complaints here, they were all cool to talk to, on a mission to get drunk after work and really didn't seem to give a rat's ass that a new guy was sitting at the bar.

Service: A lighted sign behind the bar, that almost didn't work, let me know that my server for the day was Gail who reminded me ever-so-slightly of "Deb" from Napoleon Dynamite.  Not sure why that is? Maybe it's because she mentioned that she also sold Mary Kay Cosmetics when not working here.  In any case, let's just say Gail was the definition of a hardworking bartender, and is the difference between this place being a truly awful bar or a decent-enough place to have a few drinks every now and then.  (Dude who owns this place...GIVE GAIL A RAISE!  I guarantee you she's earned it.)

Price:  Not sure if I was paying happy hour prices or not, but, I was sucking down Bud Light draws for $2:50 each in a decent-sized Cheers mug.  They also had listed $3.50 Captain Jerry, $5 Patron, $4 Jack and Coke and $1.5 Jello Shots.  The prices seem to be all over the map, but the beer was cheap and cold.

Paint optional 
Food:  Oh boy, about a million smoked sausage jokes just popped into my head.  So let's just say that they don't have food.

Entertainment:  Well, when I was there it was most entertaining thing to do was watch reruns of That 70's Show.  There also have a pool table and a wall-mounted Internet jukebox.  OK, so I lied, they have two things on the walls, a jukebox and a flyswatter.

Bartender Chat:  Being the only other person in the bar for the first hour I was there, I was able to talk to Gail about everything under the sun.  Nothing that makes for great review material necessarily, but it's always a bonus when you sit in an empty bar and have a bartender that can carry on a decent conversation to keep us both from being bored sitting in a windowless bar.  Oh, I guess there are two small window-well windows...but those gave off almost no light whatsoever.

Restrooms:  I'm not sure why I found this so unsettling, but, the restrooms are not technically IN the bar but are instead in the hallway of the motel.  Being extra careful to not touch ANYTHING, they were as bland of the rest of the place and cold as balls!  If it were not having to report on this section, I guarantee you that I would have just waited and used the ones in the Sapp Brothers Truck Stop ...yes...that actually seemed like a better option to me.

Yep...looks like a bar
How Far Did My $20 Go?:  At $2.50 a beer, you can get a pretty decent buzz going on I suppose.  Now, if you're here waiting for your date(s) from the "casual encounters" section of Craigslist you can suck down three beers for $7.50 and use $2.50 for an industrial strength condom from the truck stop.  That leaves you with $10 which should be enough to give Gail a decent tip and still have enough left over to pay for an hour or so for a motel room next door.  Good luck with that!

Final Impressions:  This place is pretty dumpy, it needs a ton of work that I assume the owners don't want to spend any money on, and it's located in a bland motel just off of Interstate 80.  Had it not been for the fantastic service from Gail the bartender, I could have easily ripped this place a new one.  However, if you want to check it out, call ahead and see what nights Gail is working, show up for a bit, buy some Mary Kay from her and leave a big tip.

Ultimately, this place reminded me of the location of a little story I once heard was 100% true from my uncle's-brother's-cousin's best friend!  It goes like this...(Continued under the Dive-O-Meter Rating)

DIVE-O-METER

Gail -- 8
Bar --  1

GRAND TOTAL -- 4.5



Kidney storage cold?
"Dear Friends,

I wish to warn you about a new crime ring that is targeting business travelers. This ring is well organized, well funded, has very skilled personnel, and is currently in most major cities and recently very active in Omaha.

The crime begins when a business traveler goes to a lounge for a drink at the end of the work day.
A person in the bar walks up as they sit alone and offers to buy them a drink. The last thing the traveler remembers until they wake up in a hotel room bath tub, their body submerged to their neck in ice, is sipping that drink. There is a note taped to the wall instructing them not to move and to call Omaha police. A phone is on a small table next to the bathtub for them to call.

The business traveler calls the police who have become quite familiar with this crime.

The business traveler is instructed by the operator to very slowly and carefully reach behind them and feel if there is a tube protruding from their lower back. The business traveler finds the tube and answers, "Yes." The operator tells them to remain still, having already sent paramedics to help. The operator knows that both of the business traveler's kidneys have been harvested.
This is not a scam or out of a science fiction novel, it is real.

It is documented and confirmable. If you travel or someone close to you travels, please be careful."


Sure I'll excuse it...why not?


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