Nebraska United States

Making Hay in Lincoln, Nebraska’s Haymarket

Our return to the road after several months enjoying Colorado began in Lincoln Nebraska. Nebraska’s own tourism campaign’s slogan is “Nebraska: Honestly, It’s Not for Everyone”. Perhaps not. But Lincoln is, or can be.

We rolled into our hotel at around 6pm after a long day’s drive from Denver. After unloading an unusually (for us) large quantity of bags, coolers and carry-ons to support our six-week road trip and return to Portugal, we took in the campus of the University of Nebraska abloom with spring blossoms and bustling with pre-graduation energy.

I’d visited Lincoln many times for work having set up several health centers for various employers in and around the city, but Melissa had never been. Post campus stroll, we stopped at the Starlite Lounge in the heart of the Haymarket area. The décor invites you to imagine that George Jetson, Jane (his wife), and daughter Judy might just stroll out from the arcade next door to throw back a martini with Don Draper. Of course, ole Don should not be trusted with either daughter Judy or Jane, but I digress… Colorful low rider lounge chairs surround round tables and the walls are adorned with retro looking signage. It’s a classy dive and a must visit, in my book.

Next stop: some of the best Indian food you can find this side of Hyderabad can be found at Lincoln’s own “The Oven”. With a wine selection of 2,200 bottles and inventive dishes like a naan with chicken, cream cheese and spinach this spot may come as a surprise to a visitor thinking Lincoln is only about college bars and Huskers football. Must visit #2.

Full of basmati rice and tandoori shrimp, we were drawn into Rosie’s to watch overtime of the Bruins-Panthers playoff game, which the Bruins shortly thereafter lost, stuck around for the first two periods of the Colorado Avalanche (who also lost) but the winner of the night wasn’t either playoff team we are rooting for but the karaoke which accompanied big screen sports in all directions. After being entertained by the local Husker gals testing out their Swiftie credentials in succession (so much so, the DJ at one point mentioned “you all know you can sing something besides Taylor Swift, right?”) a group of business colleagues (one would assume based on their attire, mild drunkenness and “out with the work gang” vibe) championed the most out of tune and tone deaf version of Sweet Caroline possible. So good, so good, so…. not so much. Back to Taylor we all collectively went.

And in the category of leaving something for next time, we tried to visit the National Roller Skating Museum just out of town but, alas, one must be available on a Wednesday through Saturday afternoon before 4pm to do so. Instead, we struck our best “shoot the duck” poses by the yard sign for this time.

Nebraska may not be for everyone, but in my opinion Lincoln has a ton to offer for a night or two and my return and our first joint visit to this urban oasis in the middle of the rolling springtime plains was a success.

1 comment on “Making Hay in Lincoln, Nebraska’s Haymarket

  1. Amy Goodner

    Much of my family lives in Lincoln so I’m there multiple times each year. My mother lives in kind of the same neighborhood as the Roller Skate Museum. We been to all the places you mentioned many times. It is a pretty nice town, and has grown a lot! I even lived and worked in Lincholn one Summer during college.


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