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Smelly Goodness

O’Leaver’s Pub Serves It Up
By Shout Omaha Staff
O’Leaver’s Pub, located at 1322 S. Saddlecreek Rd., is the ideal stomping ground for people who want to hang out and not be surrounded by snobby, uptight douchebags, unless you wander on to the outdoor volleyball court, then you run a risk. Managed by Chris Machmuller of Ladyfinger (ne) and owned by members of Cursive, O’Leaver’s has always supported local music. Brendan Walsh does an incredible job of letting local musicians get on the stage and frequently books national acts, as well.

Once again, Yelp reviews provide the best idea of what a night at O’Leaver’s looks like.

According to Omahype owner Will Simons, “O’Leaver’s Pub is one of those places you just expect to be dirty and loud. Still, it’s got such character to it that there’s really no other place like it on earth. There’s a vibe to ‘The Club’ that is hard-lined, edgy and even arrogant on the outside, but warm and welcoming on the inside. O’Leaver’s also contradicts itself. Is it a gritty rock club full of greasy dudes swilling cheap beer? Yep. Is it a place to go play volleyball with your yuppie pals after a hard day of white-collar work? Yep. Is it a place to hang out with other sad-sack drunks and watch the World Series, World Cup Soccer or a Husker game? Yep. Did they take out the pool table in the back room to put in a tiki bar that no one uses? Yep. I don’t know what it is about O’Leaver’s, but it’s perfect just the way it is. Minus one star for the super-gross bathrooms though. Yuck.”

Lanie D. had this to say: “O’Leavers is small and cozy…in a dirty floors, broken chairs, grimy tables kinda way. My favorite kind of small venue. Not the best bar service- you’ll probably wait a while for anyone to even acknowledge your existence, but you could find that anywhere. If you’re weird, you can catch a game of volleyball before settling into a pint.”

Sarah G. felt similarly about the décor and had a really hard time loving it. But who knows? She’s probably one of the douchebags mentioned in the first paragraph of this write up.

She said: “O’Leaver’s lived up to my every expectation. The whole place comes with a filthy feeling, smell, look and attitude. I was just as afraid to touch parts of the inside as I anticipated I would be, and it’s essentially just a dump. That being said, it’s a kitschy dump with record-covers utilized for wall-paper, and they host lesser-known local bands, which is why I ended up there only once after over 4 years of living within walking distance. Their sand volleyball offerings are much more acceptable, since you don’t have to set foot in the building, but after that one adventure I absolutely plan on going back to pretending that this isn’t even a bar option for me. I obviously don’t like dives though, so if you’re into questionable indoor air quality, places that are good candidates for mold remediation, and restrooms that smell slightly of urine/strongly of sewer gas, be my guest. You’ve been fairly warned though.”

Finally, Devin W. of Pittsburgh had a love note for O’Leaver’s she couldn’t keep inside.

“This bar smells horrible,” she wrote. “The seats, the floor, the walls, they’re sticky. The jukebox is ridiculous; it’s got so much good music on it. The live bands are always awesome. The walls are riddled with album covers of bands that are iconic. The “regulars” don’t want you there just like they don’t want you to let any of that darn sun in when you open the door to enter. I’m surprised they don’t hiss. The house shot? Rumpleminz. Yup. And the bartender will probably snarl and growl at you. It’s cheap. And if you don’t like it, get the hell out. Dear O’leaver’s Pub, I LOVE YOU. Please move to Pittsburgh to be with me forever.”

Love it or hate it, O’Leaver’s Pub has something good going on and most likely, it’s blasting through the speakers on a Friday or Saturday night. Bad décor, maybe, but good taste in music? Definitely.

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