Who can believe that it is 2018? Wasn’t it just the 1990’s? Where does time go? We decided to ring in this New Year right with another Omaha Staycation inspired by local food and spirits, and this time including some close family and friends. Our staycation hub this time around was the magnificent Magnolia Hotel, the evening included locally sourced spirits and dinner at a popular downtown restaurant, as well and some local shopping in anticipation of the night itself. Read on to hear our thoughts and experiences to help plan your next night out in Omaha!
'The highlight of the night for my wife and I was hands down staying at the beautifully designed Magnolia hotel. We booked a loft suite with a view of the courtyard to host our family and friends for before and after dinner drinks mixed with good conversation'
The detail in the design of this hotel is so awe-inspiring, there is truly something new to notice in every corner. The finishes and details give it a very high class feel, which made the anticipation for our “adults only” night out sky-rocket. The room certainly did not disappoint; the split level room with entertaining space on the main level and sleeping area upstairs made it the perfect spot to kick off the evening’s activities. It should also be noted that the location of the hotel in the heart of Omaha’s downtown nightlife was perfect. Being that it was unseasonably warm the night of our stay, we were actually able to walk to all of our destinations and enjoy the buzz of nightfall around town.
We knew we wanted to host a mini cocktail bar in our suite and we decided it would be fun to create this mini bar with locally sourced spirits. Wanting to accommodate a variety of palettes we made our first stop at Spirit World the night before to pick out some fine Nebraska wine. Upon our request for some pinot from the pride land we were met with a bewildered “on purpose?” Neither my wife or I are very seasoned wine drinkers, so we were informed of the fact that the quality of grape able to grow in the Midwest just doesn’t meet the same standard as those in more common vineyard territories. Not that anyone is doing anything wrong, it’s just a matter of geography. So we decided to try one red from Nebraska and one that our helpful sales associate, Azuri, recommended. Well, let’s just say that he was correct. I won’t bore you with my lack of wine knowledge trying to sound like I know what I’m talking about, but the non-Nebraska variety was in fact more bearable. Despite not being a wine lover, Spirit World and the service we received were truly top-notch. We will absolutely be back for more consultations on wine purchases or any other spirit needs.
We were also super excited to get some vodka and whiskey from Brickway Brewery downtown; we walked there after checking into our hotel. That unfortunately became more of a disappointment than anything when we were informed we couldn’t buy a bottle of vodka from the distillery because they were down to their “emergency stash” because of a Groupon endeavor. I guess we just felt a little disappointed in the customer service logic; instead of possibly having to tell customers they are out in the future for mixed drinks, they said they are not going to not sell us a full bottle of their product even though we were buying a full bottle of whiskey and two six packs of beer, while having SEVEN bottles on hand. Rant over. Enter: CUBBY’S, who saves the day! A sales clerk helped us pick out Cut Spike brand vodka, and we figured we ought to try their whiskey and beer for comparison sake. Overall the liquor was a hit, however the general consensus on the beer was “so-so” but the real moral of the story is Cubby’s has amazing food, spirits selection, and seriously their customer service is always so above and beyond. Cubby’s and Cut Spike cult for life.
Before check-in at the Magnolia, we made a pre-game pit stop at Aroma’s Coffeehouse to get our caffeine on before our long night ahead. My wife and I are pretty basic coffee drinkers, but the service was fast and the atmosphere was cool; they had some local art for sale which I obviously support. It looked like a good place to work or meet up, with plenty of space to do a little coffee house campout.
Now, on to dinner! We had an awesome main dining experience at Jams restaurant, which is a pretty popular joint around Omaha. They offer such a wide variety of menu items that it makes group outings a breeze to plan. Also, they had our 8-top reservation table ready BEFORE we walked in the door. Kudos on that, again, local Omaha customer service deserves credit where credit is due! Our server was Tracy and she was truly awesome, she was laid back but attentive, adequate, and personable and she made the whole thing more enjoyable.
After dinner and a round a drinks back at the room we headed to our fail-safe night out dance club; The Max Omaha. Tons of dancing, or people watching if dancing isn’t your thing, pool tables, great atmosphere all around, it never disappoints. If it ain’t broke, am I right?
So the last thing I wanted to talk about before I wrap this up is the Hot Shops Art Center downtown, where we bought some pretty badass barware from The Crystal Forge which stocks in house hand blown glassware. We had no idea there would be so many other shops featuring local painters, crafters, photographers and different mixed media artists. Since visiting we have been informed about their open house events where all the artists’ shops are open at once and we look forward to attending! It is located in an effortlessly cool repurposed warehouse that made for an interesting walk thru experience, with primo instagram backdrops!
Doing a monthly staycation is something I have become pretty excited about and it was cool to include our friends and family in the experience. Overall I think this was a really great night and Omaha did not disappoint! Next month we are going to be doing a budget staycation edition and I would love to hear your recommendations!
Thanks for reading along!