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Laka Lono Rum Club - Omaha, NE (bar)

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Name:Laka Lono Rum Club - Omaha, NE
Street:1204 Howard St

From their Facebook:

For the discerning escapist, Laka Lono Rum Club is an immersive bar in the heart of Omaha's Old Market.

Laka Lono Rum Club celebrates the notion of cocktail culture as a form of escapism. We take a playful approach to the narrative that humans have always longed for a paradise on earth, even if it is a make-believe place nestled between plastic plants.

We don't espouse our paradise to any geographical location or particular ethnic identity, but rather to that sweet amalgamation of the American melting pot that created the tiki bar culture. For us, tiki is authentically inauthentic. Having roots in southern California in the 1930’s, tiki today is comprised a mash-up of bits & pieces from Polynesia, rockabilly, the Caribbean, Hollywood, Africa, surfing, Southeast Asia, and mid-century Americana. It’s a unique subculture that celebrates the enduring & fleeting allure of a make-believe paradise.


[ Edited by: Potato. 2016-11-06 05:22 ]

[ Edited by: Potato. 2016-11-06 05:56 ]


Laka Lono has only been open two weeks as of this post. When I went, they didn't even have a sign out front since they are still waiting for city approval. I was told that, when approval comes, the Laka Lono sign will be an octopus that stretches across the wall.

Laka Lono is hard to find right now - it is in the lower underground level of the Old Market, next to Homer's music store and across from Plank seafood.

They have put a lot of work into this place. Every inch is covered with bamboo and moss, or carved cavestone. The floor is a deep blue, with a sheen that makes it feel like water. There isn't much in the way of "authentic" tiki, but there are tikis on the walls and two kind of goofball tiki in the cave room (see pictures below). The cave room is great - booths line the walls, and a giant amoeba table sits in the middle for large groups. Two wicker swing chairs are against the near wall. Or, you can sit next to the dripping waterfall. There is also a second bamboo bar in the cave room for when the business picks up and getting to the main bar would be difficult.

We had a Fog Cutter, Painkiller, Zombie, and a Puddle Jumper, one of Laka Lono's original creations ( http://www.lakalono.com/menu/ )

  • I'd give the drinks all about a 7 right now. Sweet, mixed well, where you can taste the booze, but it doesn't jump out at you. My only complaint was too much crushed ice for the drink. The mix, to me, should be that everything ends up empty by the time you finish the drink, and there shouldn't be a half drink full of ice by the time I'm done. Laka Lono is so new that two of their group drinks haven't even had recipes finalized yet, and the ceramics aren't complete for the bowls.

There were nice touches all over - speakers dedicated just to nature sounds, and the lights flashed on and off along with thunder noises to simulate lightning.

My biggest complaint was the music - it was mostly '50s surf and rockabilly, which I would love anywhere else, but it took away from the mood. If you've created such an awesome tropical scene, complete it! That's why people go to a place like this - for the feeling of being taken away. It felt odd being in a mood-lit cave with a waterfall, listening to Link Wray. I would really really like some authentic "tiki" exotica music in this place and I think the other customers would too, even if they don't know what exotica is, to sell the scene Laka Lono has created.

I spoke with the owner and he said they are always interested in new ideas and suggestions. If you get to visit, please let them know what you think on their facebook page (and let them know to play exotica!).


The cave room:


Hey that place makes another good reason to head back to Omaha. Just don't know when I can swing it yet. Thanks for sharing this. Oh and Potato....nice to hear you are still out there!

Just took a look at their facebook page....whew. They're taking some flak over "cultural appropriation". Won't be long before we're all dining at "government approved cultural neutral establishments", eating "cultural neutral" foods and drinking "cultural neutral" beverages while wearing "cultural and gender neutral" clothing so we don't offend any one.

Funny thing is, most of the noise on their facebook page seems to be coming from the transgender community. A community that, in my opinion, could be argued are appropriating another gender culture. Of course, if you bring up that argument, you are, according to them, a bigot.

Well, maybe if they can "self-identify" as another gender, we can "self-identify" as another race/culture? Would we pass the muster then?

Better yet, we claim to BE 10 percent Polynesian? Can we be left alone now? If they demand they want "genetic proof" of our claim, can we demand genetic proof of their gender?

Sorry for the rant, hope I didn't offend anybody, but it just the hypocrisy of it all is mind-boggling.


Resurrecting this old thread because we visited this amazing Tiki bar on 6/3/2022.

We have four Tiki Classifications: Full Tiki Tikiesq Tiki Adjacent TINO (Tiki in Name Only

This falls into the Full Tiki classification. They have captured the essence of the original bars we see in pictures. They decor, the escapism (you are not in Omaha, you are somewhere way detached), and the craft of the Tiki cocktail!

And their manager , Josh, is passionate about creating this type of environment. He and the other staff we met love what they are doing and truly appreciate those of us who notice the detail and love they pour into it.

We traveled from Nashville, TN and this was one of the highlights of our trip. Must do if you are ever anywhere within traveling distance!


TINO (Tiki in Name Only)

Ok so I love this one right here. Going to use that.

I think John McCain had a tiki bar that was a TINO bar.


Oh yeah, the place looks great as well.

My wife worked as a teacher LONG ago in Arther or was it Lincoln? Man, it was a one room schoolhouse deal where she taught many subjects and many grades.

They had a millionaire rancher all picked out for her.

Ha! she married me instead.

Hamo posted on Wed, Jul 13, 2022 9:21 PM

I made my second trip while visiting my parents in December (we went to Omaha for an afternoon and they agreed to stopping here). I realize now that I never posted any pictures from my first visit almost exactly five years previously in 2016.






The large "tikis" in the main room seem to be a little worn, but other than that, everything felt the same from my first visit. I really like that it's below ground. The drinks are good, and I believe they'd added a bit of food. All in all, a great place, especially in winter in the Midwest.

Hamo posted on Wed, Jul 13, 2022 9:53 PM

And here are a few additional pictures from December 2021:




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