IN OMAHA, nothing beats a good neighborhood bar with an accessible location, a huge parking lot, plenty of beer choices, a decent-sized patio and a large sand volleyball court for those sweltering, humid Midwestern summer nights. For all this and more, might I recommend giving Maloney's Irish Pub a try?

Just a stone's throw west of Benson and 18 blocks north of Dodge Street, Maloney's Irish Pub is located conveniently on the west side of 72nd Street between Blondo and Decatur Streets. It's a busy stretch of road during rush hour, and there is a good bit of much needed construction going on in the area, though nothing that the gods of GPS can't navigate you around.

Here, between Burger King to the north, Braman's Mortuary just to the south and Kum & Go and Family Dollar to the east, you'll find Maloney's. Maloney's is as authentic an Irish Pub as the city of Omaha has to offer.

My Gaelic spirit guide (via phone pics) on this trip was my old college roommate, nemesis and Dublin native Gordon "Paddy" O'Brien, whose love for all things Irish American has been well documented since sometime late in the 20th century.

It was "Paddy" who told me the little known tidbit that "real Irish people" (his words, not mine) not only don't eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patty's Day, but that until fairly recently, they actually didn't do anything celebratory on St. Patty's Day or really recognize it in the mainstream. Oddly, they also don't put green dye in their beer. As I told Paddy, when half the population of the Emerald Isle moves to America, they get to keep as much or as little of their Irish identity as they want. But enough digression.

Maloney's is a fine bar fronted by a signature green door. Behind the green door, I had a wonderful happy-hour experience on a very hot day. I avoided the spacious patio in favor of airconditioned comfort with a draft of Bon & Viv Hard Seltzer and a chinwag with my friendly neighborhood bartender Brent. All very refreshing. Tip Brent well.

Taps include Guinness, Bud Light, Busch Light, Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy, Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA, Infusion's Radial IPA, Boulevard Wheat, Bon & Viv Hard Seltzer, Stella Artois and Infusion's Vanilla Bean Blonde. They've also got more bottles and cans than I could count.

Happy hours are 3 to 7 p.m. daily and feature $1 off any beer. Specials include $3 for 16-ounce cans of Bud, Bud Light, Miller Lite, PBR, Coors Light or Busch Light on Mondays and Thursdays; $2 PBR tallboys, $3 import bottles and team trivia from 8 to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays; $1 Busch Light bottles on Wednesdays; $5 Bombs and $3 well drinks on Fridays; $2 PBR tallboys and $3 house shots on Saturdays; and $3 Bacardi and Captain drinks on Sundays.

When in the neighborhood, get behind the green door. I hope to see you there.

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MALONEY'S IRISH PUB

Where: 1830 N. 72nd st.

Hours: 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily

Info: 402-397-0799 or maloneysomaha.com

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