Even though Dashaus has been open for just a little more than a month, the owners of Lincoln's newest nightclub say it's growing in popularity.
Adam Norris and Michael Bland are starting to offer different experiences for their visitors. From foam parties to drag shows, the LGBTQ+ bar is coming up with new events weekly to keep customers interested.
“Once the Q burned down, the LGBTQ community all went to Omaha,” Norris said. “Instead of targeting just one group of people, this place encompasses everyone.”
The lounge and cabaret-style bar at 1640 O St. opened June 1 after Norris and Bland started renovations in May. The pair also owns Main Street Cafe, a bar a few blocks west of Dashaus on O Street.
Dashaus' location was most recently home to 1640 Event Center, but is better known for the controversy surrounding a former owner and pornography producer who was denied a liquor license for his bar, Smooth, in 2011.
Norris and Bland say they worked 80- to 90-hour weeks throughout May to fix up the nightclub themselves without contractors. They took out gold-brown paneling and painted the interior, creating a lounge area separate from a large dancing room.
Club General Manager Bryan Ruhs is also a light and sound engineer, who helped them install 132 moving lights and a 25,000-watt, five-way sound system. They made sure music in the lounge area can be different from music in the dancing area, allowing guests to relax with a drink.
“We had friends in the community who wanted something different,” Bland said. “But it has definitely been a roller coaster (since we opened). From the time we signed to remodeling, a lot has been going on.”
Dashaus is open Thursdays through Sundays from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
This month, its main features are drag shows, with a Friday appearance by drag queen Ariel Versace expected to draw fans from Omaha and other surrounding areas.
The nightclub, which also offers 19-and-older shows, can be rented for private events and will host fundraising nights, its owners say.
“It’s a lot more relaxing here (than Main Street Cafe),” Bland said. “People here are really nice, and everyone seems happy. But there’s always room for improvement — we’re even thinking of getting a Slushy machine or a hologram for more shows.”
Admission to Friday's show, "Omaha Drag Wars: Plastic Couture," costs $6. A meet and greet with Versace will start at 9 p.m., and the show will begin at 10 p.m.