Now in their 86th season, the Harlem Globetrotters continue to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For the team's 2012 world tour, a rotating roster of Globetrotter favorites take to the hardwood each game, so spectators might spot Special K Daley sharing a behind-the-back pass with newcomer Jacob “Hops” Tucker, the 2011 NCAA slam-dunk champion whose 50-inch vertical leap cruelly dashed his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Trotters might also present a study in contrasts with five-foot-two Too Tall Hall and seven-foot-eight Paul "Tiny" Sturgess, the world's tallest pro basketball player.
Spirited food-smiths at Jazz, a Louisiana Kitchen, divvy fresh ingredients into a mouthwatering menu of authentic creole and Cajun recipes. Shrimp and scallop pontchartrain zestfully sautées in a tequila-lime cream sauce ($13.99), and succulent oysters on the half shell slip into mouths more peaceably than scorpions onto a pitchfork ($7.99/dozen). Bite into a juicy grilled pork chop accompanied by a vegetable medley and garlic mashed potatoes or cheese grits ($13.99), or revel like a repressed math teacher on spring break in the energizing flavors of crawfish étouffée stewed in a flavorful roux and stock broth ($11.49). Live music frequently rouses diners ($0.50/item upcharge when bands are present), promoting digestion while drowning out the fervor of nearby filibusters.
Co-owner Chris Jones established Halo Ultra Lounge to bring an intimate, energy-packed nightlife hotspot to the West Omaha scene. From 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. barkeeps pour beer, cocktails, and drink specials and deliver libations straight to tables with accommodating bottle service. As the sun sinks below the horizon, Halo Ultra Lounge transforms into a chic social hub with relaxing booths and couches that drain partiers of stress through reverse-tension osmosis. Wednesday–Friday, DJs imported from both coasts spin live tunes, setting revelers in motion on the dance floor.
DJs spin and weekend crowds clamor within the Hive lounge’s walls, which are festooned with murals by local artist Maggie Webber and décor inspired by owner Jake Gardner’s road trips. Glass-tile panels admit streetlights’ golden shimmer indoors, where large-screen TVs glow with entertaining broadcasts alongside live games of darts and shuffleboard. At the bar, drink slingers pour frothy pints from a rotating selection of craft brews and domestic beers and set specialty cocktails on turntables to be mixed as a DJ scratches over obscure Raffi LPs. Game days fill the lounge with the roar of athletic competition from fans watching displayed collegiate and professional football, basketball, and hockey games. The Hive lounge hosts regular events such as Saturday and Sunday hangover recovery parties, during which patrons sip more than 20 mimosa flavors and shout “bloody mary” three times in front of a cocktail shaker to summon custom libations from a build-your-own bloody-mary bar.
Owners and chefs Roberto and Ana Meireles pile plates high with meticulously crafted dishes of beef, pork, poultry, and seafood made to order from fresh ingredients and traditional spices. Fried plantains, tropical fruit shakes, and Cuban sodas serve as plane tickets for the palate as lush foliage, cabana decor, and a working baggage claim evoke Caribbean climes. Libations from a brightly colored bar balance the subtle spice of the restaurant's signature red Cuban creole sauce. Gusto Cuban Cafe's patio bustles during the warmer months, and salsa dancing on weekends, like getting stuck on a slide, gives people an excuse to shake their hips.
In 2008, the bartenders at Vegalou Ultra Bar proved their drink-making prowess by successfully setting off a domino chain that consisted of 672 Jägermeister shots falling into cups of Red Bull—a feat that earned them the world record that year. Today, they fill cocktail shakers with mango pomegranatinis and moscow mules and glasses with 25-ounce domestic draft and imported beers. Near the bar, there’s a permanently installed water screen—a waterfall that has videos projected directly onto its surface.
Lincoln Calling provides a yearly rendezvous point for Nebraska's art-loving masses. Last year's gathering drew more than 3,600 fans and more than 100 bands, and the 2010 celebration aims for people pools just as deep, with more than 80 bands and counting. The festival kicks off on September 28 with Kinetic Brew's local music-video-themed Homegrown Movie Festival at the Bourbon Theatre, which is also where you will pick up your tickets. The live music begins on Sept. 29, with music at venues including the Alley, Duffy's Tavern, the Black Market, and Tavern on the Square, where fur-coat-wearing bands may play their final live show before going their separate ways toward solo careers of varying critical and commercial success. A vast lineup of groups, all of varied genres and tax-exemption statuses, provides a running soundtrack to the four days of community-bolstering art appreciation. On Oct. 1, Lincoln Calling will feature local photographers' work in an exhibit in the halls of the Parrish Project.