Clink, clink. Another drink, please.
Omahan Katherine Neary deserves a toast for the house parties she's been throwing for nearly a decade. They're some of the best in town.
Neary, 33, pays attention to the details, making her nearly the perfect hostess.
She hires a bartender, serves food, rearranges furniture, sends invites and organizes theme nights.
If her name sounds familiar, it's because Neary is a fabulous costumer on Omaha's theater scene. Most people know her as Goth ball goddess Pope Katherine, an Omaha Roller Girl and founder of Spank Candy, a fantasy theater troupe. Neary puts luau, Mardi Gras and 1980s-theme parties to shame.
Her party themes have included mythological creatures, superheroes, lingerie, vampire gangsters, military figures and cartoon characters. Lots of Powerpuff Girls and their doubles were at her Wednesday Night Cocktails bash last week. “Wild West” was this week's party.
“At first, it took a while to get people to show up,” she said. “Then it took a while to get people to start pitching in for drinks. But once they got a taste of fun, they started dressing up.”
Neary once had a cocktail prom. She decorated with balloons and crepe paper. People wore corsages and boutonnieres. She had a photo booth and DJ. A couple who had been homeschooled and had never been to a prom were there.
“So at 28,” she said, “they had their first prom.”
Neary started offering her own home-infused drinks and new concoctions, from strawberry to ginger cocktails.
The most unusual cocktails are a cucumber vodka, a drink she once had in a Denver bar, and the bacon vodka she had at the Double Down Bar in Las Vegas.
“Bacon vodka tastes ... well, like bacon,” she said. “A bacon martini is good with blue cheese stuffed olives.”
Another bacon option would be the BLT cocktail, an acronym for bacon, liquor and tomato.
Attendance is generally around 40 to 50 people. The lowest was 30 and the top 75.
Neary tries to have the parties once a week as a way to meet new people, taste new drinks and just have fun. People generally donate $5 to $10 to drink all night.
Even though she posts her parties on Facebook, she has a strict invite-only policy.
Friends of friends are welcome, of course. Anybody from young college students to professional musicians drops in. “The reason to have it is for the people,” Neary said.
An Omaha bartender was recently named one of the country's most creative mixologists.
Dean Kroll of Bonefish Grill, 120 Regency Parkway, is a finalist in the Bombay Sapphire Inspired Bartender Search. The United States Bartender Guild and GQ magazine also are sponsors of the competition.
Master Mixologist Milo Rodriguez toured the city's most popular bars Sunday to determine the most creative libations using Bombay Sapphire.
Kroll's cocktail, “Sapphire Sanctuary,” was selected. He'll go to Las Vegas in late August to compete with 39 other finalists. The winner will land a multipage profile in GQ's “Men of the Year” issue in December.
Comedian Denis Donohue performs Saturday at Barley's Tip Top, 1510 Cuming St. Donohue made his national TV debut on ABC's Barbara Walters special this year. He's a huge hit at colleges, performing at more than 50 each year. He's the champion of the Connecticut Comedy Festival and has been featured in National Lampoon magazine and on the Howard Stern and Bob & Tom satellite radio shows. View some of his clips at denisdonohue.com. Information: 402-916-4724.