We often thank a member of the military for their service and now we can thank three Omaha soldiers for their service in an entirely different way. They used their experience in Afghanistan to open their own bar in Omaha.
“All these LEDs can change colors. They can even flash or strobe.” Tyler Hightree has a right to be proud of this wooden bar. He and his two other business partners built it themselves at 144th Street and West Center Road. “These are our infinity tables.” These are also their own creation. "They're only a few inches thick, but LEDs and mirrors create a bottomless illusion.”
It’s all part of the experience at the Impulse bar and made possible by three young men who served together with the National Guard in Afghanistan. They decided to pool their money when they got back to start a business. Hightree and Devin Wilson are 24 years old and Patrick Beerbohm is 23.
“When we went to our city council meeting they even said they were wondering if we were old enough to serve alcohol,” says Hightree.
The Impulse bar sits just a few doors down from the ShopKo at 144th and Center. It used to be a quilting shop, which means they had to start from scratch to turn it into what it is today. Hightree says one thing they learned during their time overseas was that hard work pays off.
Last March, less than four months after returning from Afghanistan, they started building this place, working nonstop until opening day on August 4th. “We tore out the concrete, we laid all the lines, we helped the contractors with any little thing,” says Hightree. “We built the bar from scratch, the tables from scratch. Did all the tile work ourselves. We pretty much built it from the ground up.”
Now they keep working hard every day to serve their customers. Hightree says right now the bar is breaking even financially, but not one of them is taking income from the business. Hightree says business continues to improve while their best supporters so far have been fellow soldiers from their National Guard unit.