Dive bars are essential. Period.
Dive bars turn bar owners and regulars into family. You’re welcome to cry in your beer, open a tab, play a mean game of pool, or all of the above. While many bars and restaurants are hanging on by a thread in 2020, these Omaha and Council Bluffs bars refuse to say lights out.
We picked them because they are the dive bar favorites among the thousands of Omaha bars that rank the city ninth on the list of cities with the most bars per capita. Omaha has 7.6 bars per 10,000 people, following closely behind Las Vegas and Portland, Ore. Source: Omaha World-Herald, 2019.
HARD LUCK SALOON
For a dive bar that doubles as a community hub, look no further than the Hard Luck Saloon. This spot is full of pool leagues, karaoke singers (not allowed currently because of covid-19 restrictions), live music and football watch parties.
The Hard Luck Saloon opened 10 years ago as a pure motorcycle bar. It still attracts a huge biker following and brotherhood because of its Abate of Iowa (ride free of helmets) support. If you stop in on your own, you’ll be sure to have a new friendship formed by the time you finish your first pint.
Owner Kathy Collier, 62, plans to operate the bar at least another five years before passing the baton to a new owner. “I just put on new siding and a patio garden in 2019.”
Collier says the outdoor patio garden has been a godsend during pandemic.
POOP DECK BAR
People come to the Poop Deck Bar at 6006 Grover in Omaha, NE, because of the name, but stay for people. The Poop Deck Bar reopened on June 1 at half capacity. Owners Kathy and Chuck have manned the deck of the Poop Deck for more than 25 years.
“Omaha Poop Deck is a good, old-fashioned neighborhood dive bar in which I’ve never felt like a stranger, thanks in part to the captain I was served under, bartender Jim Kelter,” Greg Herrett
Many customers describe it as dark, and almost basement-like in nature. The seats are usually filled with a couple regulars, and friendly bartenders will get to know you just like they get to know everyone who stops in for a drink. The bar opens at 6 a.m. for all overnight workers looking to grab a pint after they clock out, or just for you to grab a before-noon beverage — hey, we won’t judge.
Poop Deck taps are currently Bud, Bud Light, Coors Light, Busch Light, Stella Artois, Kros Strain Fairy Nectar, Blue Moon and Lagunitas IPA. Pints range from $2.75 to $4, and pitchers from $9.50 to $12.75.
REPORT IN PUB
For a change in your typical dive bar fare, the Report In Pub offers the best Bloody Mary’s in Omaha.
Swap out your beer for a Bloody Mary, or maybe even stop by on the weekend for one of their brunch specials. They also serve hamburgers the size of an Omaha steer that will stick to your ribs for days.
Finally, we have The Elbow Room. Akin to its name, this spot is a tight-knit bar that serves up beer and friendly neighborhood banter. It’s filled with regulars, sassy bartenders and shuffleboard spaces for all
who can still stand.
Elbow Room has happy hour every day from 3 pm to 7 pm with $2.25 domestic tallboys, $4 premium wells (jack, bacardi, captain, beam, plus more!), $2.50 domestic bottles, $2.75 domestic pints, $4 premium pints, $4.50 any bomb. Get bombed if you have a designated driver.
Drop a comment if you’ve visited any of the above Omaha or Council Bluffs dive bars or tell us about your favorite bar below.
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