Storz Beer mural on western wall shows oxen pulling a family in a wagon. “Slow Aged”. The Forty-Niner later moved one door down to the east which was its home until 2010.
Forty-Niner Bar in 1945 on north east corner of 49th and Dodge. (Photo courtesy of the Bostwick-Frohardt/KM3TV Photography Collection at The Durham Museum Photo Archive.)
Looking west on Dodge Street at 48th. 1938. (Photo courtesy of the Bostwick-Frohardt/KM3TV Photography Collection at The Durham Museum Photo Archive.)
Walgreen’s Drug is seen on the first floor of the hotel, which would later become Renier’s Pianos and Keyboards. Forty-Niner is seen on the northeast corner. Welter Upholstery Shop is just east. Welter’s would later become home to the 49’r Lounge as we knew it. Louis Sommer’s Grocery is two doors to the east. This explains that big, weird, blue building to the east of the 9’r.
The Wake N Bake Shop. The eagerly anticipated, mysterious, covered-in-paper-with question-marks-shop that never ever materialized. Apparently when Mojo’s Coffee left this location, Wake N Bake was going to be a baked potatoes business. Maybe someone knows what period this was when all of the glorious businesses were slapped over with this horrible vertical facade? It is so lovely to see what was under those additions in the previous photos.
The 49’r Lounge was a neighborhood classic bar, a midtown staple of Dundee by the time I became aware of it. It’s simple, cozy sign hung out in front on Dodge for as long as I could remember. It seems to me that the old sign from the 1970’s was a covered wagon of sorts. I could be wrong about that. The 49’r certainly made an impression on me but I’m not exactly sure why. All memories seem to have been viewed from the backseat of our family car. I believe there was a light on that intersection (still is) hence the vivid memories of watching interesting people dart in and out of there. Dark, mysterious bars with colorful lights and great signs have a way of attracting attention, still…but they really seemed interesting before I was old enough to enter on my own.
I wouldn’t actually experience the 49’r Lounge for myself until the 90’s. The bar had a traditional, older, layout with the bar running along the west side of the narrow room. A small stage was on the south side. Lordie, I saw a lot of bands there, I smoked many cigarettes while enjoying their shuffleboard. (My understanding is that Sullivan’s now houses this board.) The room was filled with smoke, which did not seem to bother any of us holding cigarettes. I had a number of friends who worked there throughout the 90’s and 2000’s. In classic 90’s bar form, the 49’r was a melting pot of all kinds of Omaha weirdness. It seems that all of the White Rabbit moved over here. There was a lot of hippie action, ska, indie and punk crossover, skater, djs and everything else. I’m not going to claim that this was my bar, (Trey and Lallaya at Brother’s Lounge will always have my heart), but I did have some incredible times there and that back entrance….I don’t know why but I still think of showing my ID and paying to go in that back door. I really liked that damn back door.
In 2010 the 49’r was sold as well as all surrounding buildings/property. There was a “Save the 49’r” group made up of local residents and bar patrons but we all know how this went. CVS announced that it would design a building to fit the neighborhood aesthetic. Not quite. I am still a big, fat baby about this one. I haven’t been in that CVS or any other.
March 19, 2011. The 49’r leveled in preparation for CVS Pharmacy. Not trying to be weird but I still remember the scent of the demolition as I took these picture. Old times. For the record, I did not spray paint this sign. RIP Omaha’s 49’r Lounge.
I would love to hear your 49’r memories. Click on the title of this post to enable comments. Thanks, Omaha friends.