Nightlife review: Looking for a simple beer and burger? Head to Brownie’s

By Ashley Strehle Hartman / World-Herald correspondent

Published in the Omaha World-Herald, Dec. 1, 2016


Brownie’s Watering Hole

Where: 125 E. Second St., Papillion

When: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday to Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday

Info: or 402-331-9948

* * *

It’s December already.

The hectic holiday season is upon us. Things are about to get really busy, really soon.

Thankfully, there’s an easy way for you to slow down and relax for a bit: Visit Brownie’s Watering Hole in Papillion.

The bar and grill at 125 E. 2nd St. has a decidedly laid-back, small-town vibe.

It’s meant to.

Brownie’s has been promoted as a small-town hangout for years — and the promotions seem to work. This place has staying power. The bar and grill has been serving up unfussy food and cheap booze for more than 25 years.

This isn’t an upscale drinking establishment. There are no signature craft cocktails or gourmet dishes here. Brownie’s is a burgers and beer joint where they keep things casual.

On the beer front, Brownie’s is primarily focused on the classic domestic brands: Budweiser, Coors and the like.

Arguably the fanciest beer on tap (and I am using the word “fanciest” very loosely here) is Shock Top. The Belgian-style wheat beer has subtle hints of citrus and a dash of coriander. It’s a smooth, easy-drinking brew. Though Shock Top doesn’t compare with the interesting craft beers being made by local breweries, it is still a more appealing choice than some other domestic options.

Brownie’s also offers a variety of bottled beer and mixed drinks. I had a Blue Moon, which is always a safe bet if you’re in a bar with more traditional beer offerings. It’s a Belgian White beer and, like Shock Top, has hints of citrus and coriander.

If you’re not into beer, Brownie’s also has all of your standard mixed drinks, but like I said, don’t expect any artisanal cocktails. Brownie’s isn’t that kind of bar.

Small-town watering holes tend to keep things simple, and Brownie’s does that with its food menu, too.

It offers burgers, sandwiches, tacos, salads, wraps and all the fried appetizer options you’d expect, plus a few more, such as fried pickles. Almost everything on the food menu is less than $10, aside from the steaks, which run closer to $15.

I went with Brownie’s 6 oz. cheeseburger, which comes with both American and Swiss cheese. It was less than $7 and it came with a veritable mountain of tater tots. It was a standard burger, one you’d expect at this sort of establishment — good, but not great, and so big there is no way you can finish it in one sitting.

Brownie’s tends to do that with its food — go big. Portions are exceedingly generous. You certainly get a lot for your money.

The bar and grill goes big with its televisions, too. Brownie’s boasts an 8-foot television, which, during football season is always showing one game or another.

If for some reason you’re not into football, Brownie’s also offers shuffleboard, pool, Keno and darts. In short, there’s plenty here to keep folks entertained.

It’s exactly the sort of bar where you can settle in, stay a while and relax, which may be just what you need this holiday season.