Voted No. 3 on the 2011 Beacon’s Best for top movie theaters, Lake Cinemas 8 advertises a rotating octet of first-run films on a nostalgic marquee that heralds the refurbished theater's entryway. Viewers settle into comfy seats as they share puffed kernels of corn, sip sodas, and, as the lights dim, recall fond memories of tunneling into bank vaults. Visitors can choose from a selection of popular new releases or anxiously anticipate a bevy of coming attractions.
Bartenders at Johnny J's Pub & Grille pour a vast selection of draft and bottled beers to complement multifaceted sports coverage and hearty, carnivorous fare from the menu. The Valley location juggles 28 foaming draft beers from breweries including Dogfish Head, Bell's, and Magic Hat, and both locations pop bottles from Thirsty Dog and Goose Island. Hitch your brew to an 8-ounce sirloin-steak dinner ($10.99) to blaze a trail down the 60-seat bar. Bread-bookended bites include the Ritchey, featuring grilled chicken smothered in house-made sweet-and-spicy sauce ($7.99), or the Slow Mo pulled pork ($7.99), a slow-cooked pork sandwich famous for its dramatic reenactments of bullet-dodging sequences.
Part of the Firestone Country Club, Hackers' cozy, family-friendly establishment is open to its links-loving members and the non-golfing public alike. The inviting glow of ten plasma screen televisions beckon guests to the bar, where Hackers serves a whistle-whetting list of domestic beers and wines by the glass ($4–8), as well as liquor and mixed drinks. Pub classics such as fish and chips ($12), pizza ($12–15), and customizable burgers ($8), vie for menu dominance against vitamin-laden salmon salads ($10) and Asian-inspired sweet and sour shrimp ($14). Golfers can continue to bully tiny spheres off the course and sink their teeth into an order of Akron sauerkraut balls ($6). The restaurant's atmosphere is comfy and cozy, with a toasty fireplace, golf-themed décor, and a wall of windows that look out onto the 9-hole course, allowing smug sandwich-eaters to marvel at how many strokes it takes some people to escape from the sandtrap.
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.
For more than six decades, the Akron Symphony Orchestra has been the bastion of bouncy melodies and cerebral classical tunes for Ohio's ovation set. Hand-picked by Billy Joel to perform in the hit Broadway musical Movin' Out, Michael Cavanaugh received Grammy and Tony Award nominations in 2003. Here he'll lead his fellow Ohioans on a foot-tapping trek through Joel's poppy piano catalogue, accompanied by the Akron Symphony under the direction of Christopher Wilkins. Sing, hum, and angrily gurgle along to all of Joel's hits, as Cavanaugh has been known to play timeless cuts such as "Piano Man," "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)," "Keeping the Faith," and "Just the Way You Are." Since the show razzles and dazzles on Valentine's weekend, bring a special uptown girl or downtown man and nuzzle closely in prime Section B or E seating.
The Office provides enough delicious eats and drinks to stuff the belly’s briefcase to the buckle. Appetizers entice professional palates with sophisticated options—such as wasabi-stuffed shrimp cocktail and seared scallops with asparagus and mushrooms (both $10.95)—but also assuage simpler salivations with comforting pre-dinner fare such as wings ($7.95 per dozen), loaded Irish nachos ($8.95), and herb-and-parmesan fries ($4.95). Once your mouth is warmed and ready, direct its incisor specs to the entrees like temporally displaced Napoleonic soldiers toward a Russian teahouse. Bacon acts as the ambassador of turf-born protein on the otherwise surftacular plate of pan-seared salmon and lobster, which swims in a sea of tomato-compound butter ($17.95). The mushroom and swiss burger ($7.95) and flat-iron steak ($15.95), on the other hand, stand their ground as terra firma edibles. Lighter bites that are equally heavy on flavor include the mesclun salad, which is a fresh toss of strawberries, candied pecans, dried cherries, feta, and balsamic vinaigrette ($6.95 for a full).