By Ashley Strehle Hartman / World-Herald Correspondent
Published in the Omaha World-Herald, May 18, 2017
The HopHouse Bar and Grill
Where: 11425 S. 72nd St., Papillion
When: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day
Information: 402-933-0511 or hophousebar.com
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There are two kinds of bars in this world: bars with “regulars” and bars without.
The HopHouse Bar and Grill in Papillion is of the first variety. It’s the kind of place where as soon as you walk through the door you can tell that the people sitting around the bar have been here before — many, many times.
That’s a good sign. It means people have found something they like enough to visit again — and again.
Bars like this are usually pretty comfortable places to grab a beer. They will inevitably have pickup trucks in the parking lot, burgers on the menu and small-town vibes.
The HopHouse Bar and Grill is like that. Located in an unassuming strip mall not far from Highway 370, HopHouse has everything you’d expect from a laid-back, small-town pub, plus a few extras that make it stand out in a good way.
Their drink menu includes all of the standard domestics — Budweiser, Coors and Miller — as well as the usual imports like Guinness, and craft brew options from Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company and Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery, to name just a few.
But, to its credit, HopHouse also has some impressive local craft brews on its menu, like favorites from Benson’s Infusion Brewing Company.
My personal favorite beer, Infusion’s Vanilla Bean Blonde, is on HopHouse’s menu. Its noticeable-but-not-overwhelming vanilla flavor keeps it interesting and its low alcohol by volume content (4.8 percent), makes it a refreshing spring-time drink. It’s delicious. You should have some.
HopHouse also has a few craft beer options I’d never seen before like the Union Jack IPA from California’s Firestone Walker Brewing Company. IPAs aren’t usually my go-to beer, but I might choose this one again. It’s hoppy but well-balanced with subtle hints of citrus.
Like all good neighborhood pubs, in addition to its beer menu, HopHouse offers all of the standard liquors and mixed drinks, as well as drink specials throughout the week.
They offer particularly generous happy hour specials from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday where you can get well drinks for $2.50, domestic draft beers for $2 and domestic bottled beer for $2.25. Yeah, drinks for less than $3. Not bad, huh?
HopHouse’s food menu is also on the cheap side. With the exception of a sizable appetizer platter and some steak options, everything on the menu costs less than $10. They offer all the burgers, sandwiches, salads, appetizers, wings and personal pizzas you’d expect at your neighborhood bar and grill, all of it served in generous portions.
If you’re looking for entertainment, HopHouse has plenty of televisions, as well as darts, electronic games and Keno. Plus, on the Saturday night we visited, they also had karaoke.
HopHouse offers plenty of seating inside with lots of tables and chairs, as well as stools along the bar. Outside they have a sizable patio area where you can enjoy the weather while sipping your beer. (Just to reiterate: Get the Infusion Vanilla Bean Blonde.)
If you’re looking for a bar with a small-town vibe in the city, check out HopHouse. You may even become one of its regulars.