Gold Crown Chandelier, circa 1970-1980
Photograph of a chandelier that formerly hung in Omaha's Stars Bar.
Description provided by owner Terry Sweeney: "The Gold Crown Chandelier hung proudly in a piano bar that was part of the Stars Restaurant/bar. Located in Omaha, Nebraska's Old Market. The business had been previously known as the Alley Bar. Its named was fitting as its entrance was from the alley way rather than the street entrance. You see at this time, many did not wish to be seen entering what was known to be a “gay” bar. As time went on, November 1984, (The New Voice of Nebraska Vol. 1 Issue 9: http://queeromahaarchives.omeka.net/items/show/1561) a decision was made to remove some of the mystery and stigma from the bar, the Alley was renamed Stars and reopened as a restaurant/bar.
The owner, Sam Mandina, had the Gold Crown Chandelier positioned over a grand piano in “The Gold Crown Room” as it was named. Customers would come in the early evenings, still through the back door, and gather around the piano for cocktails and singing. There were song books handy for all to use and the piano player would accept requests from the group or simply play what became favorites from “regulars.” The usual tulip shaped tip container would sit upon the piano and would fill as the night progressed. The room was filled with laughter and smiles especially Friday and Saturday nights. This entertainment would often coincide with a happy hour but was never a problem as the Gold Crown room was surrounded with glass windows and double doors that seemed to keep each section of the restaurant/bar contained in a perfect way. The piano bar would always close down before the disco music would reach full swing and its customers were on to dinner or their evening plans.
Pat Phalen and owner Sam Mandina became very close friends over the years. Pat occasionally worked behind the bar or as a waiter when necessary. We held many celebrations in Stars and would bring family and friends to meet Sam After Stars closed we moved those celebrations to the Mandina mansion where Sam lived. The home was located in Omaha’s famous Gold Coast area and Sam generously allowed many organizations to meet and or celebrate in his home. He also operated a small business out of his home “Gold Coast Antiques” and was sponsor for our bowling team one year.
Once Stars was closed the Gold Crown Chandelier went to Sam’s home where Pat would admire it often. When Sam made the decision to downsize and move to another home the deal was struck and the chandelier found its way to Pat and my’s home where it has remained for many years."
Item is gold with a center shaped like a crown and six lights. The lights have shades and one has a small burn mark.
Alternate spelling found online for Starz Bar.
- circa 1970-1980
Conditions Governing Access
From the Collection: 7.06 Cubic Feet (11 boxes, 2 folders) : VHS tapes; Posters; Programs; Newsletters; Photographs; Medallions; Buttons; Pins; Fliers; Posters; Textiles (tshirts, sweatshirts)
Existence and Location of Originals
Part of the UNO Libraries' Archives & Special Collections Repository
Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library
6001 Dodge St.
Omaha Nebraska 68182-0237 United States