Jake's Cigars and Spirits is throwing its annual block party on Friday. The event will bring out five bands, lots of beer and who knows how many guests to a temporary beer garden at 62nd and Maple Streets this weekend.
Bands include Universe Contest, Noah's Ark Was a Spaceship, See-Through Dresses, Twinsmith and Oquoa, a relatively new band made up of former members of the Conduits. Doors open at 6 p.m., and music begins at 7. Cover is $5.
“We've got about as strong a music lineup as we've ever had,” said Matt Biggins, the creative director for Jake's and its sister bar, Beercade.
This year, Biggins and other Jake's managers decided to move the event from its traditional Saturday night spot to Friday. That way, the block party will correspond with the popular and rapidly growing Benson First Friday, a monthly tour of neighborhood galleries and other businesses. Several artists showing their work in this month's art walk will give away temporary tattoos; the first 130 people to show up at the block party with three or more of the tattoos will receive a free beer mug. Biggins said the promotion was in part to encourage people who show up for the party to also check out the neighborhood's art scene.
Biggins hopes plenty come for the party.
“I think it's going to be a pretty epic night in Benson history,” he said.
Unofficially, the block party also celebrates Jake's 15th anniversary. Before the bar was a bar, it was a headshop that also sold a few skateboards and snowboards in downtown Lincoln. Over time, it evolved into a liquor store. Eventually, John Larkin, a part owner of the Jake's in Lincoln, decided to move to Omaha and open another liquor store that also had a bar with an emphasis on craft beer.
The idea took off, and within a few years, the liquor store in Lincoln moved across the street to a space large enough to accommodate a bar there, too. The owners have since opened Beercade, also in Benson, which is in the process of both moving and expanding. When Beercade moves into its new spot, a craft cocktail lounge will open in its current space.