Paxton, Nebraska: Ole's Big Game Steakhouse and Lounge

Ole Herstedt killed animals on five continents, then wedged the stuffed carcasses around the diners in his restaurant.

113 N. Oak S., Paxton, NE
I-80 exit 145, then one mile north. On the right, between 1st and 2nd Sts.
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Ole's Big Game Steakhouse and Lounge.

Ole's Big Game Steakhouse and Lounge

More stuffed animals than a teddy bear section of a Toys R Us. Wandering into a staple of what a roadside attraction should be, it pays off in a way that only taxidermy and pull tabs can. Hungry? The steaks are way fresher than the epic '50s-'60s stuffed animals let on, and good ol' American is the only thing executed today. If you need a break and some food you best make this stop. Ole's is the best stop we had on a motivated drive through Nebraska.

[Jayrockfish, 11/10/2016]

Polar Bear.

Ole's Big Game Steakhouse and Lounge

Fun atmosphere if you like big game taxidermy! The best part was the fact that the food was very good and it was the cheapest meal of the trip! Our bill for a family of four: $28.71. Eat at Ole's if you are on I-80 near Paxton, NE.

[Donna Taylor, 07/28/2012]

Sign for Ole's Big Game Bar.

Ole's Big Game Bar - Vague Recollections

A curiosity one might expect perhaps in Key West or maybe on a backstreet in Atlantic City, but seems oddly out of place in the "heartland." Best I can remember, I met Ole himself in 1970 and exchanged a few laughs with him, had a meal and a couple of drinks before returning to the Interstate.

The place is straight out of the fifties, when it was still cool to display dead animals and spin impossible yarns. But oddly enough I've found over the years when thinking back on that particular trip that Ole's was one of the high points on a loooong winter drive from the east coast to Jackson Hole.

[Lee Acuff, 06/18/2009]

May 2011: Photo added.

Ole's Big Game Steakhouse and Lounge

Ole's Big Game Steakhouse and Lounge in downtown Paxton, known for six decades as a place where good friends gather, enjoy each other's company, grab a bite to eat and spin a yarn or two. More than 200 big game trophies and countless mementoes of Ole's worldwide safaris.

[Bryant Welles, 07/11/2006]
Big Ole's Game Lodge

Paxton is like every other Nebraskan town situated around a water tower and a grain elevator. However, in the middle of town is a little lounge called Ole's. It literally knocked my socks off. You go into that place and it is like the 1950s. It seemed that Ole, who has since died, was a big game hunter. He started the bar just after prohibition (or possibly during it!) in the 1930s. He hunted extensively in Africa and South America in the 40s, 50s, and 60s as well as deep sea fishing, and the bar was his base of operations. He had amassed an incredible collection of stuffed game animals including a full size polar bear, lion and elephants heads, and any other politically incorrect oddity. In addition, he has hundreds of photos of celebrities who had visited the lounge. I even noticed one of Robert Duvall.

It is well worth your visit if you are ever going down I-80 in the central southern part of the state.

[Don Hudgins, 06/02/1998]

I-80, exit 145. The place itself is pretty tiny; the dead animals are courtesy of Ole Herstedt, who killed wildlife on five continents. We especially enjoyed the postcard; kudos to the Brown-Harano Studio in North Platte.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Front Street MuseumFront Street Museum, Ogallala, NE - 19 mi.
Petrified Wood ArtPetrified Wood Art, Ogallala, NE - 19 mi.
Restored 1922 Service StationRestored 1922 Service Station, Ogallala, NE - 19 mi.
In the region:
Fort Cody Trading Post, North Platte, NE - 31 mi.

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