The Crescent Moon is the place you hit if you really care about the beer you're drinking. There are a lot of bars in Omaha with good taps, but nothing compares to this place. You can tell you've found something special when you see their draft menu, and they have a whole section for just Nebraska drafts.
And Nebraska beers are definitely something to look at here. But I wouldn't say it's the Crescent Moon's specialty nor its niche. With roughly five of them, they actually only make up less than 1/3 of their drafts.
But then there's also the food: very, very good. The Crescent Moon just happens to be across the street from where the Reuben sandwich was invented. No, seriously, it was invented in Omaha at the now defunct Blackstone Hotel by a Lithuanian grocer. It may be because of that, but this is possibly the best reuben I've eaten (and I eat a lot of reubens).
Dress Code: It's above a dive standard, but not a creepy guy dive at all. Just beer nerds.
This is just an awesome venue all the way around: great bands, great interior, top-notch sound, good staff and very reasonably priced drinks. If you go here for a lesser-known band in the front room on a weeknight, you'll likely find yourself one of only a few there and can park right outside the door. It's great otherwise though.
I don't smoke but I like the fact that they have a nice smoking patio so that you don't actually have to leave the ticketed area to go smoke.
Dress Code: Casual, definitely casual
This is my friend, Sarah's favorite place in Omaha- her new home.
One of the original wine bars in the United States. Mark Mercer, the visionary and developer for Omaha's historic Old Market, created the restaurant and named it after his wife, Vera Mertz Mercer. The restaurant is located in a former fruit cellar of a 104 year old warehouse. The brick pavers on the floor and walls came from the old Blair Highway. The exposed beams are the original supports in the building. Other details to note are a tin ceiling, exposed iron wine racks, brass full service bar, the candle lit tables and the signature fresh floral arrangements. All combine to provide an intimate, warm and inviting atmosphere.
Dress Code: V. Mertz serves an incredibly enticing menu. They are open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and dinner every night at 5:30 p.m.
V.Mertz specializes in boutique wines from California, French Grand Cru classes, Bordeaux and Premier Cru Burgundies. They have been the proud recipient of Wine Spectator's "Award of Excellence" for the past five years.
They wonder why they are about to close up? They wonder why there are no bodies sitting in at their tables or on their barstools? REALLY??? Who in their right mind would want to go in that place for a night out? I cannot believe the things that go in that dump. You have drugs being sold out the back door, you have women literally having sex in the stalls in the "smelly" bathroom facility..when it's working no less,...you have a woman that looks like "Humpty Dumpy" (guess she's an owner) behind the bar, and her latest "victim" that looks like she could spit like a dragon at a any moment. "UGLY".! We have personally seen this owner go through probably 12-18 women since we've turned 21 a few moons ago. She is gross and disgusting for 1, and for another she abuses them all and treats them like ***. Why do these women subject themselves to her behavior.
If you pay $5 for a drink, you can pretty much figure most of that is going in the owners tip jar. We watched her take a $28 order one night and throw it all in her tip jar. She needs to use some of that $ for some new clothes that aren't so tattered and tight! ***TTT! The g.f.'s that were half ass decent and did really care about her got the *** beat out them all the time! This woman needs to retire or give it to someone who can make it. Shame this is Omaha's only women's bar. DAMN! I miss the days when that Chixx was around cuz it was fun and it was pretty classy. That Connections bar is nothing but trouble. Just my 2 Cents!
Dress Code: They don't give a *** what you wear!
Connections is sadly the only lesbian bar left in Omaha.. Although we have had some good times there, the place comes with alot of DRAMA... It is located at 19th and leavenworth which isnt the best part of town by any means. But there really isnt any trouble there, no more than any other bar. Alot of regulars are there, obviously since its the only girl bar left in this town. The bar could really do well and it does have potential if it were run right. The main problem with the place is the ownership. It is owned by two women that dated at one time and now they hate eachother. It makes it really uncomfortable for everyone. One of the owners is now dating this one girl. well i think she is a girl.. its kinda hard to tell. ha ha,,, but the 1st owner has had the bar for a number of years and she doesnt do anything to help business in the bar. she shows up when she wants to take some money and all she does is ***. No one wants to be in the place when she is around. she cheats on her girlfriends and walks around like she is king ***, and no one can stand her.. Its time for her to get out of the business. the other owner does what ever she says. its really sad, she works hard.. But gossipps alot and pisses everyone off too. Its the kind of bar where they look u in the face and smile then stab u in the back when you turn around. the other bartenders have no clue what they are doing. All the good ones get fired cuz the owner is jealous of anyone that gets attention. for now its the only lez bar but we are hoping things change. they do have live music djs pool video games, keno until recently. its cash only, but they do have an atm. there are alot of hard core dikes there, but once u get to know them they are harmless. Its ok, but getting old
Dress Code: anything
Omaha isn't New York, L.A., Chicago or even Dallas when it comes to nightlife, but there are some options. Old Market again has some cafes, bars, restaurants to check out, including The Dubliner downtown, a good Irish-themed bar. You can cross over to Iowa and gamble and drink at Harrah's, Ameristar or Horseshoe. Harrah's is popular for it's Stir dance club with younger people and 360 bar on top of the hotel for the older crowd. The Qwest Center has concerts every few weeks, but the tickets are priced very high. Sokol is popular for alternative bands. If you like theatre, Orpheum usual gets 1-2 Broadway shows a year. The Omaha Community Playhouse is renowned and has a good number of shows to attend every year.
The best way to enjoy the downtown Old Market District/plaza area is to come early in the afternoon and walk around. Parking becomes a bit of a challenge as the evening wears on. On weekends, there are plenty of happy crowds and I've never felt unsafe, although we avoid the Fountain and Plaza area after dark. Some shops stay open into the evenings, such as the art galleries and jewelers. Obviously, if you feel thirsty, you will find plenty of great bars and one decent nightclub for dancing, Banana Joe's. People are friendly and everybody has a great time. As I've mentioned, there are plenty of good restaurants in the same area. Don't forget to walk a little further to the Plaza area, but it's best to do it before sundown.
Dress Code: come as you are
I work too much and go to school during the evenings, so my nightlife has basically been aborted for the time being. There is caffeine dreams, a coffeehouse that I frequent which is open until 1 AM on fridays and saturdays. It's nice, modern, has a gorgeous outdoor seating area, and outlets for laptops... yay... There are several clubs, some gay clubs, a bunch of bars, and an afterhours club or two, but much like Minnesota, the booze stops at 1 AM. You could cross the bridge into Council Bluffs and extend it until 2 AM...
You can find somewhere you will enjoy without too much difficulty, Omaha is actually a 'real' city, and has everything you would expect to find in one...
Dress Code: You can pretty much wear anything you want almost everywhere you want, except for some extremely upscale places, as Omahans are generally pretty relaxed about physical appearance.