Just a few weeks ago, Nite Owl — located in the Blackstone District at 39th and Farnam streets — opened its doors, and the neighborhood response was so overwhelmingly positive that the bar actually ran out of food. With its list of creative and original cocktails (that go down just a bit too easily), guilty pleasure late-night foods, and eclectic West Coast influences, the bar certainly fills a specific void we perhaps didn’t even know existed here in Omaha.
Owners Noah (formerly at J Coco with years of industry experience in Portland and Austin) and Katie Mock have certainly attended to all details from the drink and food menu, to the design of the bar, and including the carefully curated refurbished furniture. When I asked about the creation of the menu, Noah laughed and admitted that he essentially wanted to create a bar that offered all of his favorite foods to eat when drinking — with a quirky and creative take. And the menu reflects that sentiment, with things like tot-chos (nacho tater tots), Korean-style wings (my favorite), and a chorizo burger blanketed with a fried egg and Cuban ketchup. Unlike other places in town that serve late night food, there are delicious vegan and vegetarian options as well.
The Mocks modestly emphasize the team effort that went into the development of the bar: Colin Breen has tackled the creation of the impressive cocktail menu, which will continue to evolve and change seasonally. Kitchen manager, Chris Larkin helped develop the food menu and will be working on creating specials. And, Ted Herring, transplant from Portland, was instrumental in the opening of the bar and helping to create the food menu. The bar itself was designed by Corby Renard and the quirky, eclectic interior decorating by Hope Mock. Notable visual characteristics of the bar include the sunk-in bar, cult classic movie screenings, a restored bench that you might recognize from the Ranch Bowl, and booths retrieved and restored from a Mexican restaurant in Bancroft.
Some of my favorite menu items:
The Archetype $7 — Jamaican rum, archetype toddy, demerara, tiki bitters • Maxim Gun $6 — rye whiskey, housemade aquavit, dry vermouth, honey • Sawdust and Tinsel $8 — old tom gin, Swedish punsch, orange liqueur, lemon, absinthe • Wings $10 — Korean-style • Banh Mi Bun $4 — pulled Pork, pickled daikon and carrot, cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro • Misfortune Cookie $2 — chocolate-covered with house written fortune
Not only does the bar serve late-night crowds with its service until 2 a.m., but it is open for lunch (you’re welcome Mutual of Omaha and UNMC!). Whether you’re stopping in for a snack on a Friday night, dropping in for happy hour, or grabbing lunch on a Tuesday, you’re going to get generous portions at very affordable prices. Drinks, for example, fall in the $6-8 range.
Upcoming developments at Nite Owl include food specials and an outdoor patio in the summer of 2015. Nite Owl is also hosting a New Year’s Eve party, where a $15 cover gets you all-you-can-eat hors d’ oeuvres and complimentary champagne at midnight.
Nite Owl • 3902 Farnam Street • 11:30 a.m.- 2 a.m. Mon.-Fri., 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Sat., closed Sun.