Right below 402 Creamery lies a new bar in the Historic Haymarket. Gotham Bar is one of Haymarket’s latest bars. Located on 8th street where JJ Hooligans used to be is a Batmanthemed bar that allows you to win collectibles, pose next to a life-sized Harley Quinn figurine in an Arkham Asylum backdrop, and allow artists to showcase their work.
Owner Jared Ernest owns Gotham alongside Mike Bretta. Bretta owns the three Toys of the Past locations in Lincoln. He contributed to the small knick-knacks around the place, but that’s not what makes it unique.
Both discussed the future of their property in the dimly lit basement, and how could they transform this place. They settled on two things: a place for local artists to create, customize, or perform, and a place that reminded them of DC comics.
“This was kind of a cold and dark space, a basement or dungeon, and it reminded me of the Batman movies,” Ernest said. “It’s dark like the Asylum, kind of like a cave.”
The space reminded the owners of the classic gritty comic books, but they are willing to change the theme.
“It’s an every person’s bar,” Ernest said. “It’s not just Batman or DC themed; it’s whatever fits the motif at the time. It could be Star Wars or whatever we decide. I always wanted a place where we could really display some illustrations, some of the artists we know.”
Floor-to-ceiling bathroom murals executed by locals make this place feel like you’ve walked into Gotham City. The designs on the walls encourage people to contribute with their own doodles to add to the chaos of Gotham’s bathroom stalls.
“I started looking around [the bar] and it’s like a big open canvas,” Ernest said.
Gotham prides itself on its eclectic murals throughout the establishment but is also planning on hosting local musicians during the week.
“We plan to utilize our stage for live music events,” Ernest said. “We built this stage, we have it wired from a soundboard and everything. We planned for this.”
With the creation of specialty cocktails to fit the theme comes pub food that is perfect for classic dive bar visits.
Gotham hosts Trivia Nights every other Wednesday, each night focusing on a specific pop culture theme. You can find the theme for the next Trivia Night at @Gothamathaymarket on Instagram.