Donavon is a surfer-turned-musician whose self-titled debut was released on Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records and made the ARIA top 40 charts in 2004. In Mulcahy’s 1,400-person sound-o-sphere, his surf rock ballads, such as “It Don’t Matter” and “Move By Yourself,” will have the full force of live emotion and quality sound to superbly strum heartstrings and tickle earbones. Donavon’s Bermudan musical companion, Mishka, also has roots in the sea soil, having spent much of his childhood sailing and windsurfing before turning to reggae’s guitars and off-beat rhythms. In 2009, Mishka was named Best New Artist in the singer/songwriter category by iTunes.
When Amy Breidenbach discovered a Jackson Road House business card, it was all the motivation she needed in opening her new restaurant. The card itself had survived for a century, and was evidence of Amy's family's history, which included running a tavern during the late 1800s and a speakeasy during the 1920s. The modern incarnation of Jackson Road House serves booze, too, although it primarily fills stomachs with seafood, such as cornmeal-dusted catfish, flounder filets, and lobster mac 'n' cheese. In addition, it offers soups, sandwiches, and pub specials, such as bourbon baby back ribs and Guinness shepherd's pie.
Senses come alive when sitting on the plush red couches at Kasbah Hookah Lounge. The sounds of DJs spinning tracks sync with the rhythmic movements of exotically clad belly dancers roaming from table to table, weaving through clouds of aromatic hookah smoke. Customers can puff on more than 85 flavor combinations of the house’s 24 Starbuzz shishas, including classic options such as mango, or pairings such as honey, vanilla, and mint. The house also crafts their own signature blends for the five VIP flavors, including cinnamon toast crunch, which pairs apple, cinnamon, and banana. Bottles of wine and pints of beer accompany hookahs on the table, providing all of the fillers for a comfortable night out without having to lug around childhood teddy bears.
Executive Chef Dana Oddo draws from culinary skills cultivated from his time in the Memphis barbecue scene at Fuego Picante, where she fuses modern Mexican food with smokehouse barbecue fare. The restaurant's decor mirrors this savory synthesis, playfully blending sophisticated light fixtures and streamlined furnishings with whimsical flourishes, such as a mural of a cowboy. This serves as the perfect setting for Chef Oddos' warm and contemporary fare: tamales, chicken taquitos, and shrimp Creole all share menu space with mojitos that are freshly squeezed from the fruit of the 80-proof-rum tree.
On Sunday at Cannon's Blackthorn, a fluid collective of flutists, drummers, and fiddlers gather around brick fireplaces and play traditional Irish music through the afternoon. They welcome all musicians into their circle, as well as the occasional Irish dancers, whose footfalls reverberate off the dining room's stone floors and wood walls. Though Sundays provide the liveliest display of Irish pride at Cannon's Blackthorn, the eatery celebrates Irish culture in more subtle ways throughout the week. Dining companions can settle into private enclaves to share a romantic dinner and whisper sweet nutritional facts into one another's ears before noshing on hearty meat stews and pot pies. Additionally, bartenders pour brews until 4 a.m. seven nights a week.
The bartenders at The Drunken Penguin boost spirits with a slew of drink specials and a limited but affordable menu of pub fare. An Internet jukebox pumps tunes throughout the bar's two floors as patrons hit the dance floor, chug digital pellets on a classic Pac-Man arcade machine, and cheer for their favorite zamboni drivers during NHL broadcasts on six TVs. Each night of the week highlights different specials and themes, from beer-pong tournaments on Tuesday to six-hour Texas Hold 'em marathons on Sunday night.