On weekdays, Bud Olson’s Bar was never closed for more than four hours at a time.
Now, it’s closed for good. It served its last drinks on Halloween, when it was so crowded that a caller could barely hear the bartender over the phone.
The tavern at 32nd and Leavenworth Streets was popular with working folks — especially shift workers — because it was open from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday, catching patrons when they were done for the day, no matter what time it was.
Owner Kerry Olson — Bud’s granddaughter — confirmed the closing, but didn’t want to talk about it when she was reached a few days before the end. Calls after that weren’t answered.
The bar had been open for about 50 years and had become known for its lending library and a mural of Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” It also had no happy hours because, as previous owner Tom Olson (Bud’s son) once said, the drinks already were the cheapest in town.
Bud’s went out with distinction: It was featured on Thrillist.com’s list of best dive bars in America last year.
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This complete guide of local music, movies, dining and entertainment will have you weekend ready.
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The Crescent Roadhouse Bar and Grill in Crescent, Iowa, is a dive bar with a good kitchen. It's largely a domestics-in-the-bottle kind of place. Blue Moon, Lagunitas and Corona are about as hip as you’re gonna get. Click here to read more.
There is likely room in your schedule somewhere for The Cabin’s happy hours. They last from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Click here to read more.
Pour Craft Beer & Spirits has two dozen brews on tap from local favorites like La Vista’s Kros Strain Brewing, Omaha’s Brickway Brewery & Distillery and fellow Lincoln newbie Cosmic Eye Brewing. Click here to read more.
Lincoln’s Pub sits where Dixie Quicks used to in Council Bluffs' historic 100 Block. It is turning into a worthy successor. Click here to read more.
Cosmic Eye Brewing opened in east Lincoln fall of 2018. Its location makes it unique for a couple of reasons — for one, it’s the only Lincoln brewery in a former laser tag place, and the only brewery in the neighborhood. Click here to read more.
Pat and Mike’s has Chiefs games, cheap tacos and arcade classics like “Ms. Pacman” and “Frogger.” Click here to read more.
As nice as it might be to go to a bar where “everybody knows your name,” occasionally it’s pleasant to go to a bar where no one knows who you are, what you do or where you’re from. The District offers that. Click here to read more.
Florence's New Frontier is a great dive. It is quaint, friendly, out of the way and time-worn, but clean and comfortable enough to exceed one’s most reasonably tempered expectations. Click here to read more.
Barley's, a saloon-style bar in Council Bluffs, offers 30 brews on tap, a friendly staff and an "epic" amount of parking. Click here to read more.
Not all dives are cut from the same cloth. George’s Tavern in Blair hits all the right notes for socializing on the DL and has what discriminating tastes aspire to, if not actually settle for, in a dive. Click here to read more.
Green Flash has some traditional brewpub offerings like wings, of course. But, in general, the eatery specializes in slightly more sophisticated eats, with more fresh vegetables and fewer fried foods. Click here to read more.
The Spillway in Council Bluffs is always family-friendly. There is an ATM, pool, darts, 11 TVs, free Wi-Fi and — the best idea ever — a Breathalyzer by the door reminding you to stay safe and never drive buzzed. Click here to read more.
You can enjoy drinking with strangers at Rathskeller Bier Haus, including a few real Germans. Wall art consists of European beer signs, a boar’s head and a reproduction of Berlin Wall graffiti. The back garden will still nurture you once warm weather returns. Click here to read more.
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