By Abigail Stephans, Contributor
The House of Loom is not just a bar, “It’s a space to celebrate,” Co-owner and DJ Brent Crampton said.
The House of Loom has much to celebrate as Aug. 16 marked a two-year anniversary for Omaha’s unique bar and venue. The concept behind the House of Loom has actually been in existence longer than what Crampton described as the “brick and mortar” venue. The essence of the House of Loom is in its celebration and connection to the cultural diversity within Omaha, which began with the University of Nebraska at Omaha alumni and associates DJing gigs at The Waiting Room Lounge and other venues throughout the Omaha area.
Crampton discussed how the “loom” was an attempt to create a bridge between a highly diverse and segregated Omaha community by playing at different venues.
“But, when you’re playing at The Waiting Room or any other venue, the house always wins,” said Crampton. “You may get the cover charge, but the house always wins.”
Thus, the House of Loom was formed. While it may serve craft cocktails, Crampton and associates pride themselves on serving the variety within our Omaha community. So the House of Loom focuses on creating gatherings that focus on celebrating and welcoming all types of people from all walks of life.
“What people expect of the House of Loom is an event,” Crampton said.
Recently, House of Loom hosted a celebratory event for India’s 66th anniversary of freedom. Not only did the DJ highlight India’s rich musical traditions, but the venue also provided a henna artist to provide henna tattoos to guests. Bartenders laughed as they poured drinks to customers and freely spoke of how much they enjoyed their job and the message that the House of Loom offered.
“I was a troublemaker growing up, so this is my way of giving back to the community,” one server offered as she passed out two delicious looking ciders to gentlemen conversing in Russian on the outdoor patio.
The celebration of India’s liberation is just one of the few ways that the House of Loom helps to promote acceptance and celebration of diversity in Omaha. While they may host events with such specific purposes, every night of the week has a theme or event to capture the attention of anyone downtown. Tuesday nights are karaoke nights with a focus on theatre-minded individuals. Wednesdays are “crate and craft” club nights in which Crampton and associates highlight various vinyl DJ’s that people in the Omaha community may never have been exposed to or haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy at the House of Loom. Thursday nights vary, sometimes featuring swing dancing with the Jitterbugs or the Spoken Word with Verbal Gumbo.
Saturday nights, however, are referred to as the Saturday Nite Jig, in which Crampton himself is the signature DJ. He likes to start off with music that moves him personally “on an emotional level” and then progresses towards the dance music that moves him and is guaranteed to get the crowd moving to the dance floor.
“It’s a passion gig,” Crampton said. “It’s at my place with a DJ booth I designed, my equipment and my kind of people.”
The Saturday Nite Jig is just another reason to celebrate and tends to lure in those celebrating birthdays, engagements, graduation or simply getting through a rough exam week. The crowds on weekends are a bit more random than any other day. Crampton said, “they always keep me on my toes.”
But the House of Loom isn’t just music, craft cocktails and cultural events. Sundays feature Zumba and salsa classes back-to-back. Whatever it is – a space to celebrate, a bridge to bypass cultural barriers, a dance floor or a comfy location by the fireplace for a quiet evening with friends, it most certainly is not just another bar in downtown Omaha.