331 North Cotner
Lincoln, NE 68505
Phone: (402) 325-8800
Fax: (402) 325-8811
Bars & Cafes
Since opening in 1993, this hip beer and pizza joint has become a favorite downtown hangout. Frequented by a crowd of good-looking people in their 20s, this long and narrow pizzeria has exposed brick walls and rough wooden floorboards. Heavy wooden benches and the original pressed-tin ceiling add to the tough, retro vibe. Two pool tables in the rear are almost always occupied, as are the four cast iron tables on the sidewalk. Pizza is available whole or by the slice. Choose from a long list of sauces, cheeses and toppings or order one of the combinations. Baked potatoes are also served with the same choice of toppings as the pizza. A very extensive wine list is available, as are more than 260 microbrewed and imported beers.
This hole-in-the-wall bar has been the nightly host of some of the nation's best blues acts for more than 25 years. Winner of the prestigious W.C. Handy Award, which is given by blues musicians to the best national blues venue, this legendary bar gives customers a chance to experience world- famous acts in an intimate setting. The nearly claustrophobic size of this downtown joint has endeared it to both customers and musicians. The walls of the long narrow cave of a room are plastered with handbills advertising past performances ranging from blues legend Bo Diddley to Grammy® Award winning polka band Brave Combo. Don't expect just to sit and watch, though, as the energy in this bar drives people to dance and its not unusual to see college students, professional people and leather clad bikers all lose themselves in the groove on the tiny dance floor. A variety of beer and liquor is available for a well drink or large draught.
A popular O Street dive, this tavern has been serving up shots and beer to the college crowd since 1939. Surly bartenders, a couple pool tables, rundown booths and fishbowls full of cheap booze keep a crowd of students and working class regulars happy. A popular venue for musicians from the independent, rockabilly and punk scenes, the bar has shows every Wednesday and Sunday. Such acts as Nirvana and The Flaming Lips have played here in their rise to fame. The best nights to visit the bar are Thursdays for live karaoke with local bands. Would-be rock stars choose from the band's extensive repertoire and put on some of the best and/or funniest live shows you'll ever see. The bar has a dozen domestic and import beers on tap as well as a fully stocked bar. Any mixed drink is available in a fish bowl with straws for each drinker depending on the drink.
The Coffee House is downtown Lincoln's only smoker-friendly coffee shop with a great atmosphere. It's a feeling of being in your living room having some real rich-flavored coffee. Not to mention the free wireless connection available there. This coffee shop and art gallery is always packed with a mostly twenty something crowd of rebels, pseudo-intellectuals, college students and the people who love them. The non-smoking front section has high ceilings and a few mismatched couches, and is usually a fairly quiet place to read the paper and have a quiet conversation. The low-ceilinged, smoke-filled back room, on the other hand, fills with more and more of the pierced and dyed set as the day progresses, becoming a hotbed for political, social and cultural arguments. A full range of hot and cold coffee drinks as well as tea, soft drinks and baked goods are served.
The array of twinkling lights, buttons and levers on the monstrous instrument panel at the entrance of this lounge ushers you into the past era that is its theme. The long, black bar is lit by stage lighting and plenty of comfortable tables intermingle with the original backstage decor. It's a perfect place to take a break from a hot afternoon of shopping in downtown Lincoln. Affordable mixed drinks and martinis are served as well as bottled beer and wine. Deli-style sides and sandwiches named after past stage and screen stars are also available during lunch hours. All in all, Barrymore's is a place to catch some nightlife action of the town.
Loveseats, martinis and jazz are the themes of this recent addition to Lincoln's downtown nightlife scene. While often frequented by patrons of the nearby Lied Center for Performing Arts, the regular clientele consists of young hipsters and college students. High ceilings and red painted plaster peeling from the brick walls give this shadow filled bar a prohibition era feel. Couches and armchairs illuminated by antique table lamps are tastefully grouped around cherry coffee tables. Tuxedo-clad bartenders serve a variety of cocktails and specialty martinis, including the Cosmonaut ($4.75), a mix of Malibu rum, Midori, Triple Sec, fruit juices and cream. Beer and wine are also available. All of the above, plus the excellent service of the barmaids, creates an atmosphere where small groups of friends or colleagues can enjoy a night of conversation.
Duggan's Pub has good food and good music of all types.
A small, dimly lit and plush lounge located at the edge of downtown Lincoln. Tasteful paneling, plush carpeting and comfortable chairs give the mostly professional clientéle of this bar a place to unwind over cocktails. A humidor in the corner of the one small room displays the large variety of cigars available here. This lounge specializes in martinis, with more than 40 specialty flavors. More than 70 premium Scotches and a modest selection of beer and wine are also available.
The aroma of roasting coffee that permeates the Haymarket district has its origin at this establishment. Over the last 15 years, this coffeehouse has established itself as the favorite of students, professors and Haymarket professionals. The comfortable, smoke-free interior of exposed wooden beams and floorboards is well suited for reading or surfing the Web on one of the two public computers. More animated conversation takes place outside on the old loading docks. The coffee roasted here is quite good and is served at many local restaurants.
The Cask - Fermentations and Cocktails opened in 2012 and is set in the Lincoln Hide & Fur building. Its brick walls, pine tables, iron wheels of an old lift and dim lights, give it a character and charm. This cocktail bar features an impressive list of boutique wines, craft beers, premium liquor and innovative cocktails. Enjoy their happy hours with a drink of your choice and listen to good live music during the weekends.
A popular destination in the Haymarket district, this busy brewpub has been serving its award-winning ales and hickory-grilled dishes since 1991. Nebraska's oldest and largest operating brewery, it has multiple floors of seating, which give this restaurant a interesting and unusual ambiance. The best seats are at the large, comfortable booths in the low-ceilinged loft above the kitchen; the worst are the tables in the sterile third-floor dining room. What makes this restaurant so popular is the food, which consists of large portions of American brewpub fare. A perfect example is the Stout Loaf Sandwich: this filling dish features a generous slice of meatloaf that is cooked with the brewpub's own stout ale, served over a thick piece of grilled beer bread and smothered in a sweet-and-sour mushroom gravy. Finish this off with a choice of potato;the mashed potatoes are recommended; and there won't be much room for dessert. The brewpub's own beers are particularly fresh and good, though there is a full bar on hand to supply any other drinks you may desire.
This neat ice cream parlor serves homemade ice cream in the Historic Haymarket district. The black-and-white tiles, cafe tables and antique light fixtures in the parlor are starting to show their age. But since a line of customers always stretches out the door of the Creamery building and into the street, nobody sees them anyway. This is one of the most popular destinations in the Haymarket on hot weekend nights. All of the ice cream here is made right before the customers' eyes in two large wooden tubs. You can choose from 10 unique flavors, which change on a daily basis. Also for sale are phosphates, sodas, malts, freezes and floats.