Published Sunday, September 8, 2013 AT 8:58 PM / Updated at 9:59 PM
Heard about the new place in town?
Tom Shatel Omaha World-Herald

I’ve always wanted to own a place. Sort of a combination steak house and sports bar. It would have great food, great service, every game that’s on TV and, most of all, the best collection of photos and memorabilia of the local sports heroes.

Some of the best places I’ve seen were Fuzzy’s and Lynn Dickey’s, both formerly of Westport in KC; Mike Shannon’s in St. Louis, Mike Ditka’s in Chicago, Joe Senser’s in Minneapolis, Bobby Valentine’s in Arlington, Louie’s in Dallas, Seau’s in San Diego, the Varsity and Coach’s in Oklahoma City, the Sports Column in Denver, Knuckle’s and Moose’s in San Francisco. Froggy’s in Pittsburgh, where the owner had a distinctive hoarse voice that sounded like, you got it, a frog.

And, of course, the late and great Pauli’s in Omaha. And Barry’s in Lincoln, along with another favorite you’ll hear about in a minute.

I’m sure I’m leaving out a 100 or so. The point is, I’ve been to enough hangouts, and known enough owners of hangouts, to know that it’s no fantasy. It’s hard work. It’s expensive. You lose money. It’s not like you’re Sam Malone at Cheer’s. That’s the ultimate scenario; run a bar on TV, where it’s over in 30 minutes.

So I’ll never own a hangout. But beginning Monday, I’m doing the next best thing.

Tomorrow, on, I will realize my dream. I’m opening up a sports hangout, with stuff on the walls and atmosphere and some real characters at the bar. The characters would be you. The place is my new home page.

I’m calling it “Sweep Write,” which is an ode to one of my favorite football hangouts, the old (and new) “Sweep Left” in Lincoln.

I’ll be hanging out at Sweep Write every day. There you’ll find my latest columns, blog posts (Friday Tailgate and Diary of a Skywriter will be regulars), chats, tweets and whatever else I do on a keyboard.

Please be my guest, anytime, day or night. Pull up a chair. We never close. Just remember one thing: it’s bring your own food and drink. And opinions.

About Tom Shatel

Tom Shatel is a columnist for The Omaha World-Herald. You can get in touch with Tom on Twitter (@tomshatelOWH), or send him an email at