The Ranch Bowl (or as the kids call it "The Ranch") is the best venue for punk rock and hard rock in the metro Omaha area.
Popping up around the late seventies, it is located on the corner of 72nd and Pine, near one of the busiest intersections in the city. The Cog Factory used to claim the title of best punk rock venue, before they shut down due to bankruptcy. This almost happened to the Ranch in the eighties, but it survived by becoming a bowling alley/bar/hole-in-the-wall/rock room.
Most Omaha bands of any reputation will tell you that they have played at the Ranch and that some of the best shows they ever put on were at the Ranch. When one looks at the Ranch bowl from the outside, one doesn't think much. When one looks at the Ranch Bowl from the inside, you still don't get much, but I guess that's the way punk rock venues ought to look. It's a stereotype, yes, but I think it would be awfully weird to hold a hard rock show in a squeaky clean, bright lounge. I don't know much about the owners, or what they wear, or if their dog wears a tutu, or if they even have a dog, but I do know that I saw one of the owners moshing at the last show I saw.
Numerous bands that have played the Ranch:
It would be hard to imagine the Omaha music scene without the Ranch Bowl and I hope I never have to. There are basically no other venues (besides Rebels) that hosts great alternative music. So here's my battle-cry, "Support your local arts and music hot spots!" Oh and, "Support your local band!"