GET READY to set sail for a three-hour (or longer) tour with a fearless crew of castaways at one of the most landlocked bars in Omaha.
Technically, they're all landlocked, though the nearest U.S. Coast Guard station is on John J. Pershing Drive. Regardless, 60th and Grover sits high enough on a hill that it barely gets wet when it rains. And it is on that dry hill where you will find the Omaha Poop Deck securely docked.
It sounds pretty funny to anyone unfamiliar with pre-20th century sailing vessels, but the poop (la poupe in French) is at the rear end of a sailing vessel. It's the highest part of the ship and forms the roof of the captain's cabin. Ironically, the toilets on such a vessel are located at the front end of the ship, or "the head," because it's upwind. Thanks, shipmateapp.com!
My first trip to the Poop Deck was several years back while attending the OsFest science-fiction convention just up Grover. Where else would you go with a Captain Jack Sparrow cosplayer? Besides being right off I-80, the Poop Deck is so conveniently located, you could to get to in about 20 minutes from anywhere. You could start in Benson and take Saddle Creek to 60th and Grover in 10 minutes without running a light.
There's just no other way to say it — Omaha Poop Deck is a good, oldfashioned neighborhood dive bar in which I've never felt like a stranger, thanks in part to the captain I was served under, bartender Jim Kelter. You may already know Jim as a former KMTV sportscaster. He's got the stories and the '70s leisure suit pics to prove it. While enjoying a Pint 9 and a Jack's Pizza — for just $7.50 — a regular named Steve and I had little trouble prompting Jim for stories about interviewing Tom Osborne. This is a very inexpensive bar, and they could charge you just to talk to Jim. It was a stone-cold hoot for any journalist and/or sports fan.
Taps are currently Bud, Bud Light, Coors Light, Busch Light, Stella Artois, Kros Strain Fairy Nectar, Blue Moon and Lagunitas IPA. Pints range from $2.75 to $4, and pitchers from $9.50 to $12.75.
Happy hours are 4 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday. Daily specials include $5.50 pitchers from 6 to 10 p.m. on Mondays; free pool and $2.25 Black Haus shots on Tuesdays; Old School Wednesdays, with $1.75 Busch Light, Hamm's, Old Milwaukee Light, Schlitz and PBR; $2.50 well drinks from 6 a.m. to noon Thursdays; $3 well drinks from 6 a.m. to noon. Fridays; and half-price Jack's Pizza all day Saturdays. If you come in during "The Price is Right," everyone gets a free drink (or free drink coaster) when the wheel stops on $1.
If you get a chance to land your barge at the Omaha Poop Deck, I hope to see you there.
OMAHA POOP DECK
Where:6006 Grover st.
Hours:6 a.m. to 2 a.m. monday through saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. sunday
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