When Noah Mock, owner of Nite Owl, moved back to Omaha from Texas a few years ago, he recognized a need for those coming off late-night shifts to have somewhere to get a craft cocktail and a good meal. “I wanted to create a great place where people could get late-night food and craft cocktails in a fun atmosphere,” says Noah.
The menu at Nite Owl boasts only 10 items; each dish is something that Noah likes to eat when he is drinking. “There’s some Texas-inspired food options like the Tot-Chos (tater tots with cheese and nacho fixings) and the Chile Verde Fries. Then I’ve got the Big Frita—Cuban in origin with half chorizo and half beef with a fried egg on top—which was inspired by a burger I used to get in Miami,” explains Noah.
Noah and his staff refurbished all the furniture to create a vibe that reads dark, cozy basement because that’s always been Noah’s favorite kind of bar—comfortable and not cramped. He found the booths near Lincoln and fixed them up. Customers may recognize a big table at the end of the bar, since it came from the Ranch Bowl, a bowling alley, radio station and music venue that closed in 2005.
Noah reminds patrons that Nite Owl is a bar first and offers food second. A craft-cocktail bar, they make all of their drinks from scratch using liqueurs that people don’t normally see. For example, he says the Demerara is a rich simple syrup that cuts through brown liquors better than syrups used in citrus drinks.
“We add fresh herbs, sugar and other ingredients to make our own liqueurs, syrups, bitters and soda. It’s more work on the back end but it pays off,” Noah says.
Nite Owl also plans to change its menu seasonally, in order to accommodate favorite foods with each time of year and what’s in season.
Nite Owl is open 11:30am to 2am Monday through Friday and 4pm to 2am Saturday. It’s located at 3902 Farnam Street in the Blackstone District.
—Story and photo by Cheril Lee