Florence has been kind of a quietly rebellious place to hang ever since Brigham Young used to abstain from drinking here. After 1848, real estate developers gentrified it. Post-Mormonism, Florence acquired a few bars catering to a rowdy crowd of territorial politicians, pioneers and merchants.
Today, there are as many historic sites as there are bars. Hunkered near historic Florence Bank is one such bar, the New Frontier.
While the New Frontier is not an official historic site, it is at least an interesting one in this hamlet along North 30th Street, this small town seated on the rim of Omaha. This tavern is a great dive, and I like my dives the way I like my B&Bs: quaint, friendly, out of the way, time-worn but clean and comfortable enough to exceed one’s most reasonably tempered expectations. That is the New Frontier in a nutshell.
Anxious about parking? Don’t be. There is nearly as much street parking here as there was in 1848. Probably more.
This tavern feels like someone’s modestly appointed basement, or possibly a very well-appointed cave, cool and inviting in summer months, warm and sheltering in the winter. There are wagon-wheel chandeliers dangling from the ceiling, antique beer signs stuck on the walls and regulars bellied up to the bar.
Every Wednesday night at 7, New Frontier hosts an acoustic open-mic night, and every Thursday is karaoke night, also at 7 p.m. Check them out on Facebook for a schedule of live music as well.
This is decidedly a “drink like your grandpa” kind of place, so the taps include just a few of your more popular domestics: Budweiser, Bud Light and Miller Lite. Bottles include Stella Artois, Michelob, Heineken, Coors Light, Bud Light, Corona, Corona Light, Busch Light, Miller High Life and Bud Light Orange.
Whenever I drink like my forebears (or if I’m just not in the mood to choose which $5 IPA I want to chance), I choose, for my main course, Miller High Life, the sparkling wine of domestic beers. Even beer snobs will tell you that bottled High Life is better than you think.
Bucket beer specials are $13 to $14 for domestics and $15 to $17 for imports.
New Frontier happy hours are Monday through Friday until 6 p.m. and include signature drink specials like the Moonshine Lemon Drop shot for $2.50, Blue UV Bombs for $5.50 and Frontier and Maui Waui Bombs made with Cannabis Mango Energy Drink for $7.75 a pint. And for those who like their fruit spiked, Moonshine Cherries are four for $1.
Speaking of nutshells, New Frontier has peanuts on the bar, always a nice touch. There are also chips on the wall and Enzo’s Italian right next door if you want one of your better yet lesser-known Omaha pizza pies.
For fun, New Frontier has giant Jenga, regular-sized darts, pool and Keno. If you like football, there are six TVs here, including three projection screens so you are never out of range.
If you and your crew are looking for a good place to start, end or spend your night, New Frontier should fit the bill without breaking the bank.