The bar in Old Market's newly renovated Tavern probably touched Elvis' elbow - Omaha.com
go logo
article photo
article photo
Dave Haverkamp (left) and David Kerr are the new owners of The Tavern (formerly the Old Market Tavern), which they bought in July and completely remodeled, adding, among other elements, an antique bar that was once in a glitzy Kansas City hotel.(CARA PESEK/THE WORLD-HERALD)


The bar in Old Market's newly renovated Tavern probably touched Elvis' elbow
By Cara Pesek / World-Herald staff writer


At a newly renovated Old Market bar, patrons can sidle up to the bar knowing that at least a few presidents, Elvis and the Beatles have likely had a drink there, too.

In July, Dave Haverkamp and his boyfriend, David Kerr, bought the Old Market Tavern at 10th and Jackson streets. In early September, they hosted a party for Haverkamp's birthday at the bar; when the party ended promptly at 4 p.m., they handed family members sledgehammers and other tools of destruction. The family worked until midnight, and thus began the bar's renovations.

Among the changes: taking out walls, changing the lighting and furniture, replacing the flooring and swapping the plain, modern bar for an ornate antique one that used to be in the Muehlebach Hotel in Kansas City.

Every president from Theodore Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan stayed at that hotel, according to Kerr. Elvis, the Beatles, and other icons did, too. Kerr figured it was a safe bet that at least some of them had rested their elbows on the slab of mahogany now in downtown Omaha.

“I don't know how much the presidents drank, but you know Elvis had a drink here,” Kerr said.

For the business's grand reopening on Sept. 14, Kerr and Haverkamp dropped the “Old Market” from the bar's name, calling it simply The Tavern. They had noticed that was how most of the bar's clientele referred to it anyway. They added craft beers, cocktails (they're especially fond of the Moscow Mule, a vodka and ginger beer concoction; theirs has a secret ingredient) and wine by the glass or the bottle. Kerr and Haverkamp, who both quit corporate jobs to buy The Tavern, took a bartending class in South Beach to better learn the trade.

For them, the business was a way to be together. The couple met in Las Vegas and after spending three days together, began a long distance relationship. Haverkamp lived in Omaha, Kerr in London. They explored the logistics of opening businesses in the two cities, and Omaha, with its low cost of living and Haverkamp's family, won.

They began looking to buy a bar or a restaurant and found The Old Market Tavern, at 514 S 10th St., in an old railroad hotel not far from their apartment. They loved the location and bar's historic charm — big windows, exposed brick walls. In the months since they've taken ownership, they've come to love it even more. They've gotten to know their neighbors. They've learned to divide the labor (Haverkamp handles the numbers, Kerr does the marketing and graphic design).

In a few ways, Haverkamp says it's not so different from his old job selling bank software. His favorite part of that job, he said, was meeting people, just like at The Tavern.

“There are so many worse ways I can think of to spend the day.”

The Tavern is open Monday from 5 p.m.-2 a.m. and Tuesday through Sunday from 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

Contact the writer: Cara Pesek

cara.pesek@owh.com    |   402-444-4052    |  

Cara writes about nightlife -- bars, clubs, karaoke, and other places people go to have a good time -- as well as fashion, pop culture and trends.


Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom


Copyright ©2014 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

Latest Stories

This York man has nearly 5,998 more salt and pepper shakers than you do
This York man has nearly 5,998 more salt and pepper shakers than you do

Vernon Browitt never imagined his hobby of collecting salt and pepper shakers would result in several thousand of them.


'Tis soon Talk Like Shakespeare Day; hence be mirthful!
'Tis soon Talk Like Shakespeare Day; hence be mirthful!

William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday won’t go unheralded this week in Omaha. Nebraska Shakespeare is sponsoring Talk Like Shakespeare Day on Wednesday, which also marks the kickoff of its 17th annual sonnet writing contest.


Jon Stewart might be real king of late night
Jon Stewart might be real king of late night

‘The Daily Show’ rivals ‘SNL’ in how it influences tastes and launches stars.


Film Streams to screen 2 special-interest movies this week
Film Streams to screen 2 special-interest movies this week

Two movie screenings at the downtown theater will be of special interest to travel-film buffs and to people with special needs preparing to join the work force.


Country music singer Kevin Sharp dies at 43
Country music singer Kevin Sharp dies at 43

Kevin Sharp, a country music singer who recorded multiple chart-topping songs and survived a well-publicized battle with cancer, has died. He was 43.


Swoosie’s voice a joy in memoir of stage, family
Swoosie’s voice a joy in memoir of stage, family

Swoosie Kurtz, your book had me at hello.


Debate still simmers over Field of Dreams site
Debate still simmers over Field of Dreams site

Twenty-five years after "The Field of Dreams" debuted in movie theaters, the Iowa farm where it was filmed remains at the center of simmering debates.


The 8 most untrustworthy artificial intelligences in film
The 8 most untrustworthy artificial intelligences in film

With the release of “Transcendence,” the story of a computer science genius whose mind is merged with a sentient system, Hollywood has once again probed the vagaries of artificial intelligence.


Record Store Day draws long lines, record collectors, good tunes
Record Store Day draws long lines, record collectors, good tunes

At Homer's Music in the Old Market, the first person in line arrived at 4:30 a.m. Saturday.


Coachella: Best of Day 1 includes The Replacements, Outkast
Coachella: Best of Day 1 includes The Replacements, Outkast

Rock Candy correspondents Joel Henriksen and Keith Finn check in from Indio to review Friday's top sets from the godfather of indie rock festivals.


 
Search
Movies Opening this week

Movie showtimes and theater listings






Read this!








VIDEOS

Tonight in Prime Time
© 2014 Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved