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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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