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Rebranding to re-open: State board revisits restrictions on Downtown Omaha bar

Posted at 6:38 PM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-02 19:38:35-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It was formally known as Throwback Arcade Lounge and has been a known problem for a few years now, so much so that they had to fight to keep their liquor license. Now, its owner is back in front of the state board asking for fewer restrictions.

That's because owner, Tony Pham is trying to re-open the bar with a new name, Krush Ultra Lounge.

He pitched it to regulators as a new concept with more security.

"We have installed additional cameras all around the bar, we have hired more security,” Pham said.

There is also a greater focus on food service and different entertainment.

"We built a little stage to have shows like dueling pianos and comedy shows, things of that sort, more wholesome type of entertainment," Pham said.

Throwback Arcade Lounge's liquor license was denied by the city in June of 2023, but it was granted in September by this board, with a list of restrictions.

Those restrictions include:

· No alcohol served after 1:00 a.m.
· No third-party promoters.
· Security is required to follow patrons out of the building and stay until all have left the area.
· And help the neighborhood with patrolling and cleaning.

But Throwback, only stayed open with those restrictions for three months, closing in February for remodeling.

With re-opening on the mind, City Councilman Danny Begley reflects on the concerns around past issues.

"It was safety concerns and that they weren't controlling people that were coming in and out of that establishment at the Throwback,” Begley said.

And says if there are issues in the future, "if there is things of the pattern that was there originally, continuing, the law committee will call them in," Begley said.

While Begley wishes the business well, "I am hoping that the restrictions stay in place, until they can show that they can be good neighbors in a safe environment."

The state board is considering changing the closing time to 1:30 a.m. and allowing professional booking for acts.

Pham declined an on-camera interview.

Owners plan to re-open as the Krush Ultra Lounge later this month.

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