Beneath glittering rows of crystal ropes that hang from the ceiling, the blue, green, and purple tones of Hydro Bar & Grill bathe visitors in a cool light. Get a well drink at the bar or take a seat to puff on one of many hookahs. Browsing is encouraged, whether you're looking at a menu of edibles from the full kitchen or websites courtesy of Hydro's free WiFi. Before 10 p.m., Hydro is open to patrons aged 18 and older; after that time, you must be 21 to enter.
Set just across the street from the UT–Arlington Mavericks' baseball field, Atomic Subs & Wings dons a lively, sports-themed atmosphere, indulging diners with savory American cuisine and wings slathered in homemade sauces. Pay tribute to favorite teams or celebrated outlaws by noshing the Maverick, a loaf of white bread brimming with a half-pound of feisty rib-eye steak, italian sausage, and capicola ($5.99 for a small, $11.99 for a large). Gravity-marooned snackers can don the specialty wings, which feature eight flavors, including the feisty Hellfire wings and the garlic and parmesan-garnished Rockstar ($16.29 for 24). Live music fosters a festive atmosphere and competitive chicken dance-offs on the weekends.
The house chefs at Blaze's Sports Grill specialize in transforming the recipes that filled lunch boxes in elementary school, revamping them to give the dishes a gourmet twist. They dip corndogs in a candied jalapeno cornmeal batter, while upgrading the classic PB&J with a blanket of marshmallow cream. Thick slices of mozzarella and American cheese top the bologna sandwiches, while burgers come topped with everything from peanut butter and bacon to avocado, cheeses, ham, and salsa. Signature dishes include lobster mac and cheese casserole and the mac daddy sliders; while new menu items like gringo lobster nachos, a full pound of shrimp in the peel and eatz, and frito bandito are soon to be favorites. Even the drinks have a nostalgic charm, with staff filling fish bowls with rums and juices or creating their own homemade wine coolers from flavored vodka, fruit liqueurs, and Sprite. The atmosphere encourages guests to linger with friends or willing mailmen until the game ends, or stay for Friday night festivities of live bands.
Tell us about your business.
We are a coffee and wine bar in Arlington. We sell coffee, espresso drinks, frappes, and smoothies. In addition, we serve food such as salads, breakfast sandwiches, turkey burgers, and paninis, [just to] name a few things. We have poetry and open-mic nights, as well as dance classes. We are in the process of obtaining our alcohol license, [but] in the meantime we do [offer] complimentary wine and beer with the purchase of an entree, as well as BYOB.
What kind of expertise do you have?
We're a new business (just opened in November 2012), but I have cooking experience and my son attended Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. Between the two of us, we run the kitchen.
What makes your business stand out from the competition?
We have a niche in that we are not just a coffee house, but a wine bar also. We're sort of outside of the box. Our ambiance is outstanding, and it's a great place to wind down after work, gather with friends, or get some work done on your laptop. We have free WiFi with any purchase, and a rewards program. Great customer service is most important to us.
What are a few of your most popular services?
People love our turkey panini and frappes. Additionally, the chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits are very popular.
At Chop House Steak & Seafood, head chef Kenny Mills relies on the skills he's learned throughout his eclectic career, which included a stint operating the healthy, organic Natura Cafe in Uptown Dallas, as well as stops at steakhouses in Denver, Fort Worth, and DC. The menu reflects the chef's extensive experience with simple, yet elegant dishes, such as slow-smoked prime rib, Cajun rib eyes, mesquite-grilled salmon over lemon couscous, and tuna tartare tostadas.
Walls lined with school memorabilia and local trinkets envelop patrons with a warm neighborhood vibe at the independently owned Buck n' Loons, and the welcoming embrace extends to the restaurant’s varied menu of homespun comfort cuisine. Nosh a half-pound slab of juicy steak burgers, such as the green-chile-covered New Mexico ($7.99) and the bacon cheeseburger ($8.49). Or wield a knife and fork and tame a growling stomach with the decadent one-pound animal burger, which tops double meat and cheese with a sliced hot dog, chili, and Fritos ($10.99). A rivulet of gravy floats alongside a shoreline of chicken-fried steak ($10.99), and mountains of mashed spuds and vegetables round out the protein topography of the meat loaf dinner ($9.99). Personable staff members help idle hands find solace in wholesome handhelds such as the breaded pickles and jalapenos ($5.49) or the loaded Irish chicken nachos ($8.99).