From the multicolored orbs hanging from the ceiling to the intimate rounded leather booths, Marz can’t help but be cool.
Classic vanity mirrors of all sizes lean against the bar’s brick walls and dimly colored shelf lights shine through the bottles of liquor in front of the extra-long bar.
Lili Baier, Marz Bar's general manager, said the bar is purposefully designed to be as inviting and appealing to as many crowds as possible.
“We try to make sure the bar is inviting, warm and welcoming by offering good food and drink, beautiful lighting and good music,” Baier said. “The staff and I want everyone to feel welcome, everyone from the students, professionals and our parents are welcome.”
Each week Marz offers a menu of both unique and staple cocktails. Fans of the classics can enjoy quality liquor in their New York Sours, Aviations and Mezcal Gimlets, but the specialties cannot be ignored.
Adventurous drinkers should point at a glass container sitting on the top right shelf and ask for the Hot Bunny, a martini unique to Marz.
Replacing the standard gin is a vodka infused with spices and vegetables served with pickled asparagus and pimento olives in a salt-rimmed glass, resulting in a savory and zesty drink.
“I take the staples and think about and taste the new products to see where they would fit in the flavor profiles and create something unique,” Baier said. “We have so many new special spirits available to us as bartenders, it’s so much fun.”
Marz’s downtown location and wide appeal makes it a spot ripe for performances and community organizing. Baier said she works hard to make sure musicians and performers have a stage and activists and clubs have a quiet place to gather and have a drink. Several previous performers may sound familiar to those attuned to the local music scene including Jonathan Leach, Emily Bass and the New Miracle and SAS.
“We are a locally owned business, and as such we want to be inclusive and a part of what makes our town vital and interesting,” Baier said. “We want to perpetuate the lively, thriving music, art, education and political environment that Lincoln has worked so hard as a community to cultivate.”
Just because you go to the bar on the weekend doesn’t mean you should settle for average bar food. Nestled in the back of the bar, local catering chef Nick Webster operates Webster Bistro, a popup kitchen with a rotating menu of restaurant-quality food to compliment Marz’s unique bar setting. How does barbacoa tacos with lime-braised prime beef brisket, black-eyed pico de gallo, smoked hot sauce and queso fresco served in a warm grilled tortilla garnished with lime crema sound?
Maybe next week it’s time for dessert and you check out brown-butter pecan blondies with bourbon vanilla topped with fresh maple-whipped cream. Either way, Webster takes cash and whips up each order himself.
“Food goes hand in hand in creating a welcoming and exciting environment,” Baier said. “Nick keeps the menu rotating and fresh. We try and compliment each other’s menus and flavors.”
Marz is no stranger to parties. On top of providing drinks and catering, the bar throws its own themed parties every now and then. The brick interior and casual decorations allow the bar to transform from a Roaring Twenties extravaganza on New Year’s Eve to a variety/burlesque show to celebrate the spring equinox. Each event has something special to it, be it live music, dancers and even magicians.