"Lively characterizations and an irrepressible sense of fun”—that's how Cleveland Scene once summed up the strengths of Ohio Shakespeare Festival. It's a fitting approach to the works of the ever-sly Bard, especially given the fest's convivial outdoor setting. Dusk finds spectators on the edges of their picnic blankets as immortal plots twist and turn before their eyes and sandwiches.
Crowned the Best Irish Pub of 2010 by CityVoters, Brubaker's serves up an extensive menu of pub edibles alongside a lively atmosphere and TVs sporting the latest in athletic endeavors. Quiet nagging hunger mufflers with appetizers such as barbecue-chicken potato skins ($5.75) and the super pretzel with mustard, salsa, or nacho cheese ($2), or tongue-dive into a specialty dish, such as the chicken cordon "bru" ($6.75), the buffalo-chicken wrap ($5.50), or the mega dog ($4). Brubaker's burritos wrap various fillings in the fresh-baked arms of nine-inch tortillas and come in varietals such as the Popeye ($5.50), a hulkifying combination of spinach-artichoke dip, tomatoes, onions, shredded cheddar, and ranch dressing. Brubaker's also offers a wide-ranging beer selection to indulge the fermented fantasies of Prohibition-era taste buds.
Nothing goes with a trip to the ballpark quite like a hot dog. Well, almost nothing. For fans heading to Canal Park for an Akron RubberDucks matchup, however, the neighboring The Game crafts one minor improvement: combining three hot dogs in one. The result is the aptly named 3 Dog Night, a hot dog stuffed inside a bratwurst, which, in turn, comes wrapped inside a half-pound kielbasa and is served by a waiter singing "Mama Told Me Not to Come.".
Of course, not everything from the kitchen requires such a hearty appetite. Dedicated to upscale spins on bar food classics, the culinary team crafts BLTs with house-cured duck bacon and tops certified Angus beef burgers with Guinness-braised mushrooms and onions. That creativity even extends to breakfast with everything from housemade corned beef hash to gluten-free hotcakes. Craft beers from local and regional breweries complement feasts, which unfold amid exposed brick walls, sun-streaked windows, and flat-screen TVs showing the day's biggest games.
At Barley House, friends mingle over tasty libations while supping on juicy burgers, tender cuts of chicken, and satisfying soups and sandwiches. The ample bar spans an impressive 14,000 square feet—enough space to fit disc-spinning DJs to mix beats Friday and Saturday nights, a dance stage, and 4,617 bonsai trees. The kitchen proffers a smorgasbord of sliders, hoagies, pizzas, and wraps to hungry visitors refueling after jamming out to the seasonal live bands or those watching the bar’s numerous flat-screen TVs.
The medieval carvings, European antiques, and Italian alabaster sculptures at the Akron Civic Theatre absorb the ascending harmonies of symphony concerts and heavy rock ‘n’ roll alike. Built in 1929 to resemble a Moorish castle, the venue has maintained much of its historic charm, including the exceedingly rare atmospheric ceiling, in which stars twinkle and clouds float by as mesmerizingly as the last few corn flakes atop a bowl of milk.
Since opening with a Frank Sinatra performance in 1990, the stadium now known as Times Union Center has seen more than 15 million guests pass through its turnstiles. That’s only slightly smaller than the population of the Netherlands and roughly equal to the number of people worldwide who enjoy candy corn. Besides attracting such entertainment titans as the Rolling Stones, U2, Disney’s “On Ice” series, and the Harlem Globetrotters, the multifunction arena is also home to the AHL’s Albany Devils and college basketball’s Siena Saints.