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Remembering the legacy of Harold's Bar manager, Harold Newbanks Jr.

"He's just a guy that's a staple in the neighborhood and there will be a hole here without him."
Posted at 7:29 PM, Nov 17, 2023
  • Friends and bar owners talk about memories they have with their friend Harold Newbanks Jr.
  • Harold's Bar on 85th and Blondo was where Harold Newbanks Jr. was the manager
  • Video shows who Harold was as a person and how he impacted his community


Harold Newbanks Jr. was the life of the party and a good friend to many… I'm Jill Lamkins, your Northwest Omaha reporter here at Harold's Bar on 85th & Blondo. On Nov. 2, Harold unexpectedly passed away from a stroke...leaving friends to honor his memory and remember his legacy.

Friends remember his iconic entry into a room.

"Cocktails cocktails, you'll hear that from anyone who talks about him. That was Harold's way of saying hello."

They say he was the backbone of this neighborhood's bar community.

"In this part of town, he's close to legendary status."

He took bar owners like Ross Koley under his wing.

"Here I am, some stranger off the street coming into his neighborhood and for him to like reach out to me and say, 'Hey whatever you need, like, I'm a phone call away.'"

And helping others like his friend Michael Litwin out...

"Broken equipment, needing ice, anything like that, Harold was always there or always in need."

Rather than competing with the other bars in town, his friends say Harold was all about bringing everyone together and having fun while doing so.

"It was his kind of his forte was driving around in the limos. He'd take people out and go bar hopping in the limo. It's a neighborhood jaunt he used to call it."

Riding around in the limos is something Harold’s friend Rich Balkovec remembers well. Especially when they went out to celebrate his 43rd birthday.

"Which was quite a while ago." "But it was a fun night and one I will well remember for a long time."

When I asked these guys to describe Harold, they told me:

"He's just a guy that's a staple in the neighborhood and there will be a hole here without him."

"He was a great generous person…He had a lot a lot of friends."

"When he walked into a bar, everybody there, whether you liked him, whether you didn't… you knew Harold was there and… I'd just like to think he's in a better place now and we can all remember him being that kind of person."

The bar will celebrate his life on Saturday at 2:00. On 85th and Blondo...I'm your Northwest Omaha neighborhood reporter, Jill Lamkins for 3 News Now.