Bar rant

I mentioned in my last post that I haven’t been very happy with the bars I have been to in Omaha so far. First off, let me mention that I’m not a “club” guy or someone that goes out to the bars all the time. Part of that, for me at least, is that since I’m married, I’m not out looking to pick girls up anymore (not that I was ever good at that). When I go out for drinks and to have some fun, I’m out to hang out with people, talk, joke, etc.

So, the couple bars that we have been out to that really disappointed me are The Reel Martini Bar, and The Drafthouse. I’m going to really emphasize the word “disappoint”, because I know that I’m not going to go to a place that looks like a club or a place that is obviously looking to cater to kids right out of college. I was very interested in these places because of what it seemed they were trying to do with their image.

The Reel Martini Bar, sounds like a laid back place that has a cool movie theme, serves good martinis, and is kinda geared towards a bit older crowd that wants to hang out after dinner. They have a great logo too. The website is pretty slick too. (especially if they would finish it) As soon as we walked in, the hip hop music comes BLARING out. I have to yell to talk to Bridget who is standing right next to me. There is no movie motif, save a crappy mural that is on one wall. There is a big projector on one side of the bar, but it’s showing the Cavs-Magic game. Granted, it’s the NBA playoffs, but once you’ve committed to a movie theme, ya gotta stick to it. There are a lot of couches and chairs around, but it looks like they got pulled out of the VIP room at an out of business strip club. Again, the music is absolutely blaring. We order drinks by yelling at the bartender. Granted, the martini’s were pretty good. There was a decent selection, but no more than what any place with a decent drink menu would have. We go out to the patio area, which is a nice idea, but it’s too narrow and jammed up with tables and chairs. We got there at 930 or so, when we left at 1130 or so, the music was still blaring and was getting full of drunk people quickly. Granted, there were a lot of people, but the atmosphere did not match what you would expect it to be.
So my problem with this whole thing……why do you just give up as an bar owner? You have this great idea for a bar with a movie theme. Why are there not movie posters everywhere? Why are there not tvs with classic movies showing? People of all demographic groups love movies. You could have movie trivia nights, theme nights, theme parties, etc. Why was the physical bar not setup like a concession area? You know, with candy showing. It would be really easy to setup food items like nachos and hot dogs that you would normally get at a movie theater. There was popcorn, but it was a little popper that I wouldn’t have gotten anything out of. Instead, they have given up and just play loud hip hop music and try and get people drunk. If that’s all you want, just call it something else, paint the walls black and sell shots. I think bar owners underestimate the number of people that like to go out for drinks and such after dinner on the weekends, but don’t want to go to a noisy, hot, sweaty bar. True, it’s not as big as the party crowd, but you can get to those people, you just have to work and keep your atmosphere steady.

The Drafthouse (might wanna update that webpage too. The coupon that expires in 2007 is a little tacky) was similar. It has a cool name that would indicate that you have a lot of beers on tap, and it’s more of a gathering/hang out bar. We got there at 930 or so, grabbed a beer (from a selection that was not impressive. If you’re called the drafthouse, you better have 25 beers on tap, and not just a collection of Bud, Miller, and Coors products with 2 or 3 unique ones). It was cool to hang out there for about an hour, and guess what? BLARING MUSIC. Why do you have to have music so loud that you can’t talk to someone standing next to you. I don’t know if I’m just old, but what’s the point of going out to be around other people if you can’t talk to them? If I wanted to do that, I would just put on some headphones, crank it up, and drink beer while watching Elimidate and The Fifth Wheel. Anyway, like the Reel Martini Bar, using the name of Drafthouse gives you so many options to have a unique bar, and by just giving up and catering to the easy Friday and Sat night drunk crowd, it’s a little disappointing. Granted, I’m being a little hard on the Drafthouse because I was already really worked up about the Reel Martini place. TDH might be fun on other days, or during football games, but I think when you give up on your theme on Friday and Sat nights, you begin to lose the theme and atmosphere of your bar all the time.

or maybe I’m just cranky….

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