Published Thursday March 20, 2014
Aksarben lounge boasts craft cocktails, classy atmosphere
By Laura Capitano / World-Herald correspondent
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Where: 2285 S. 67th St.
When: 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Tuesday
Info: 402-884-5410; LivLounge.com
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Sure, we’re a dive bar-loving town, but occasions arise when you’re just not in the mood for Busch Light on tap and someone else’s five bucks worth of Metallica on the jukebox. Some nights call for a cool glass of attractiveness, distinction and detail, and LIV Lounge has that by the kegful.
With its muted purple walls and zebra-print accents, LIV is roomier than what it appears from the street, occupying more than 3,000 square feet, in fact. The bar proper holds about 20 guests, while the range of lounging space (from lil’ nooks to more spacious arrangements) offers a surprising amount of cozy seating. Sofa and coffee table settings are smartly spaced throughout LIV, comfortable padded benches line much of the perimeter, and an enticing fireplace glows from the center of it all.
TVs are downplayed at LIV, a concept I found refreshing. There’s just enough of a presence so that someone can keep an eye on the game, but they are absent enough to remind you that there are better things to do than watch television. And do keep LIV in mind for a date place, particularly for newer couples. The lounge is set just right for intimate visits, and the low light makes you look extra lovely.
Spring is here, and LIV’s enviable patio with plenty of seating and a fire pit is a choice to remember for you fresh air types.
The thoughtful planning of the lounge space carries over to LIV’s cocktail crafting. The well-stocked bar offers plentiful beer and wine selections, and both their classic and specialty cocktail menus take advantage of the little extras that turn your order from a drink into an experience. The Dark and Stormy rum drink we enjoyed came served in a copper mug so coveted that they put a little deposit on your tab when you order, just in case you have sticky fingers. The Lemon Drop martini came perfectly poured from an individual cocktail shaker into a glass rimmed with yellow sugar.
Drink flavor is on par with their good looks since LIV steers away from the more common corn syrup cocktail mixes packed with colorings and preservatives and instead calls upon fresh juice and fruit garnishes, house-made simple syrups and flavored spirit infusions.
LIV also gives you the option to play like we’re in the Big City and indulge in bottle service. Just choose your bottled liquor, and it arrives at your table with a buffet of mixers, garnishes, ice and glassware.
Weekly events include LIV TRIV quiz game tonight and every Thursday at 8 p.m. LIV’s version puts an entertaining twist on the more regimented team trivia games out there, with owners and staff banding together to come up with their own questions and categories. They are also the most generous in the prize department. General manager Kyle Mahoney reports that the top prize is a $100 bar tab, plus prizes for bonus questions and the best team name.
Dancin’ folks should report to LIV’s floor Saturdays at 10 p.m. for a live DJ set.
The beloved happy hour, though, is LIV’s main social focus, and discounts run daily until 7 p.m. and all day Sunday. Spiff up your home bar with LIV’s current Glassware Giveaway: Order a Stella Artois, Goose Island or 312 pint during happy hour and keep the vessel. The promotion is a buildup to the five-year anniversary May 9.