Bono's Dell visit no secret

AP 2009Before Omahans went all-out Twitter and text crazy, an international rock star might have been able to show up at a local bar — and the masses would read about it later.

As it happened Thursday night, U2’s Bono made a surprise visit to the Dundee Dell.

Within 15 minutes, the place was jammed.

“It’s funny to see how fast the word got out — how social media has changed things,” said manager Monique Huston. Dolled-up smart phone- responding fans, mostly females, rushed to the Dell.

Already at the bar was World-Herald editorial cartoonist Jeff Koterba, who also plays in an Irish band. Not really the starstruck type, Koterba said he even gawked — at first because the guy walking in had on sunglasses at about 9:45 p.m.

“You just don’t expect to look up and see Bono,” Koterba said. “It was bizarre.”

Bono was with an entourage of about 15, including friend Susie Buffett. Buffett serves on the board of DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa), a group Bono that helped form in 2002 to raise awareness of poverty and AIDS in Africa.

The humanitarian superstar has dropped by the Dell on previous trips to Omaha, often for breakfast. Huston said she heard he would be in town for more than a day, and she hopes he stops in again.

On Thursday, he stayed for 1½ hours.

He signed autographs. He posed for pictures. Some appeared nearly instantaneously on Facebook pages.