I don’t know about you, but when I’m not ice fishing or snow-machining over hills, dales and the occasional raccoon, I like thawing in a bar by an electric fireplace in an ’80s-style ski sweater. That’s the only thing that can make bearable the arctic temperatures and epic snowfalls we saw this winter.
It also doesn’t hurt when you find a place where the bar food is good and the beer doesn’t break the bank. So the unique neighborhood bar tip this week comes from a place Jack London could drink in style and comfort, The Cabin Bar & Grill.
The Cabin is huddled on Mormon Bridge Road on the northern outskirts of Florence off the 48th Street exit of Interstate 680. On several of many trips to The Cabin, I’ve run into friendly, local crowds, but not so much with the Interstate traveler crowd (not in any obvious way) despite its propinquity to 680. This place has unfeigned realism written all over it. Solidly constructed of logs inside and out, it’s a great, high-ceilinged lodge straight out of a “Northern Exposure” episode.
This isn’t the place people drive across town for craft beers, and that’s cool. Taps include Sam Adams seasonal, Bud Light, Busch Light, Coors Light, Boulevard and Stella Artois. This is the place people go to for the warm ambiance of a log cabin. It’s the place to go for sports viewing on a dozen TVs, homemade specials and, as I’ve overheard on several occasions, to accidentally run into people they went to high school with.
Asking for recommendations has been a bit of a pain. Regulars seem to stick with what they know and like. Ask what’s in the fridge behind the bar if you don’t want to play a game of “Do You Have?” The liquor is fully stocked, and there is a menu of special sweet drinks like Salted Caramel Apple, Apple Pie A La Mode, Guinness Swirl, Royal Cherry Vanilla, Sparkling Apple as well as Bailey’s Nutty Irishman, Peppermint Patty and Cinnamon Toast.
In addition to hand-crafted, -patted, -breaded sandwiches, the menu includes breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon. Despite the Lenten fish special, I had to have the double-decker Reuben sandwich with homemade onion rings. It was great, and I took half of it home. That and a Sam Adams pint ran me $15.
Sign up for the Go newsletter
This complete guide of local music, movies, dining and entertainment will have you weekend ready.
There is likely room in your schedule somewhere for The Cabin’s happy hours, as they last from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Domestic drafts or bottles are only $2.75 and domestic buckets are $13.75 at those times. Check the web for updates and food specials.
The Cabin has the aforementioned TVs, free Wi-Fi, a Breathalyzer, Keno, darts, karaoke on weekends, open pool 7 p.m. to close on Wednesdays ($4 mini pitchers, free Stella chalices with purchase), a beer garden on the back deck overlooking the woods and a big, shady, grassy backyard for summer volleyball. A party room is also available.
Check it out — I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Hope to see you there sometime.
1 of 30
With arcade and drink specials, Billy Frogg's has draws for '80s kids and college students. Read more
Come out of your shell at Shucks oyster bar. Read more
Eat the Worm sells a large assortment of tequila. Read more
Tiger Tom's Pub is an Omaha mainstay near 72nd St. Read more
Despite its nautical name, Omaha Poop Deck, which is located at 60th and Grover, sits high enough on a hill that it barely gets wet when it rains. Read more
A cozy bar, fancy cocktails and no sports are just a few of the draws at Nite Owl. Read more
La Buvette the closest thing you'll find to a taste of Europe inside of a 50-mile radius. Read more
Lincoln's White Elm Brewing Company is a welcoming, dog-friendly environment. Read more
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.
Want to be alerted for severe weather? Or maybe you want the latest in dining, local businesses or sports coverage? The World-Herald's newsletters have a variety of options to cater to your interests. Click here to sign up.