Nomad styles itself as the upscale lounge d’jour of the Old Market. They’ve done a really phenomenal job of kitting the place out with great art, furniture, and a DJ tower above the bar. They routinely curate a gallery of art by local artists, usually in a certain graffiti/tattoo style that vibes well with the decor. It’s on the first floor of the Old Market Lofts, so it has huge high ceilings and gigantic wooden columns. Despite literally being a warehouse, the clever use of curtains and spot lighting manages to create an intimate and muted feel. Nomad tops my charts as far as upscale lounge settings go.
A word of warning: don’t go here if you don’t want a cocktail. There’s a depressingly small selection of beer and wine, all of which will break your bank. Something like $5-6 for a bottle of Miller Lite is the cheapest it comes.
I’ll never understand the horror that seems to grip owners of upscale lounges everywhere when it comes to beer. Why can’t they serve great beer along with great cocktails? Urban Wine manages to have a small selection of some tremendous Belgian and Trappist beer on tap. I’m fine with charging $5 for a Miller as it generally keeps out the Wooo! Crowd*, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a selection of least a few decent beers, even in bottles.
That being said, the cocktails are fine and the bartenders are the usual collection of humorless stoic professionals. They serve a big selection of fancy fizzy pink martinis and such, but expect your sour mix out of a gun. I recall once even having to list the ingredients for an Old Fashioned.
The English owner of Nomad is quite active in the community in a number of great ways. He helps sponsor the annual Omaha Fashion Week which can be a surprisingly spectacular event. It’s especially surprising that a town like Omaha can be host to a successful fashion week. Nomad also hosted a fixed-bike sprint competition thrown by local bike shop Greenstreet Cycles, which was great fun.
Because of my humble station, Nomad isn’t a place I go very often. I’ve been there much more often for special events than just an evening out, but it’s still a great place to go occasionally.
*The Wooo! Crowd is the people you see in certain establishments hoisting rice-beer in patented Widemouth Vortex Whatever bottles and shouting Wooo! as they stumble on top of one another in drunken, fitful delirium.