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Finding A Great Local Bar

How to Tell if You’ve Found a Great Local Bar

From Cheers to How I Met Your Mother, our favorite TV shows revolve around cool local hangouts. Our favorite characters go to unwind, to connect with friends, to meet new people, and so much more. But how many of us are actually blessed enough to have a local spot we can call our own? Finding a local spot you want to spend time at time and time again can be difficult.

Fear not! We’re here to help you find your own Cheers or MacLaren’s in your neighborhood. When you’re trying out new bars in search of your new favorite, here are things to look for in a great local bar near you.

A Welcoming Atmosphere

A good vibe is the first sign of a great local bar. From the brightness of the lighting, to the amount of available seating, to the conversation provided by the bartender, everything should make you feel right at home. After all, you’re looking for a place you can see yourself hanging out at, inviting your friends to, and possibly even meeting some new friends at.

Table Service

A good server remembers guests drinks and orders. They should be aware of customers are needing drink refills or any kind of help.

A Bar Menu That Suits Your Tastes

What’s your poison? Whether it’s wine, beer, or liquor, make sure that the bar menu at your prospective new bar carries a good selection of what you like to drink. So if you tend to prefer liquor drinks, make sure you’re not making your new home at a wine/beer only bar. As a bonus, find out if they offer a happy hour menu as well. You and your friends will appreciate being able to save money on the regular.


The folks behind the bar are the stars of the show, and the brighter they shine, the better the experience. We’re not asking for fancy bottle juggling or an endless supply of jokes, but a friendly demeanor and prompt service go a long way. That said: People, tip your good bartenders a dollar per drink, OK?

Clean bathrooms

Since everyone has to eventually “break the seal,” having a clean, well-stocked spot to do so is a must. Vomit, urine, sanitary supplies, wet toilet paper on the floor and standing water shouldn’t be visible in any bar bathroom.

A Convenient Location

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a new favorite local bar is convenience. The bar doesn’t have to be within walking distance of your home, but you shouldn’t have to drive too far out of your way to have a drink or two. You want the bar to feel like a neighborhood hangout, so it should be close enough to your home.

Reasonable Pricing

We want you to find your local hangout, and that shouldn’t require emptying your wallet in the process. Your potential new favorite bar should price their drinks and food at a point that fits your budget and preferences. When you invite your friends to join you, they’ll appreciate reasonable prices as well.


It’s hard to consider a bar to be your “favorite” if they don’t occasionally play some of your favorite songs. Jukeboxes create an interesting ambiance. Did you ever notice that when you go to your favorite spot that you tend to hear the same songs during the night? Is that because the same people play the songs or the bar attracts different people with similar tastes? Many bars are now using iPods to provide the soundtrack, which can be good or bad, depending on the playlists.

There is one thing that can make or break a jukebox or iPod playlist — and that is volume. Too many bars crank music to a level that makes conversation difficult. There is nothing wrong with jacking the volume at a peak time in the evening, but music should provide ambiance, not a reason for shouting.

Searching for a new local bar in Omaha? Join us at one of our two locations for a drink and a bite to eat—7 days a week.