Attendees of Maple Theater's classic film series, Secret Cinema, only know one thing when they enter the 300-seat auditorium: whether that night's feature was made before or after 1967. Otherwise, every selection is kept tightly under wraps by the series curator and the elves who run the projectors. The rest of the theater's lineup, however, is no secret. Throughout the week, Maple Theater specializes in the latest releases from the world of independent cinema, and features live music every weekend.
After the show, unwind in the theater's bar and WiFi lounge, where 12 taps offer local brews amid elegant drapes and chandelier strands. The bar pairs those pours—plus wines and cocktails—with original American tapas, as well as pretzel bread, veggie spring rolls, and waffle fries. Over at the Great Lakes coffee bar, meanwhile, vintage cameras and projectors surround visitors who stop in for their morning caffeine dose.
Once inside Barrio Tacos and Tequila, one is immediately struck by the smoky blues and warm blooms of color that fill the space. Frosted panes of azure glass line one side of the restaurant, and vibrant murals overtake the other walls—the ones that aren't stacked with shelves of tequila bottles, anyway. Orange lights from above branch into glowing tendrils, studding the navy ceiling with miniature suns and illuminating the mortar and pestle on each table. These points of color are akin to the sparks of flavor inside the menu: pleasantly surprising and, in the words of the Detroit News, "bright and well-balanced."
Executive chef Ryan Porter is the brain behind Barrio’s inventive recipes. As a teenager, Ryan cooked for his family every night, honing the creativity that would lead him through American-, Asian-, Italian-, and finally Mexican-themed kitchens. Today, he looks in all cardinal directions for culinary inspiration, fashioning platters in the style of Oaxaca and Acapulco, among other regions. He stuffs tortillas with nine types of taco fillings, including housemade chorizo. On the side, scoops of chili-dusted sweet corn transport guests to Mexico without forcing them to throw out the giant bottle of shampoo they keep hidden under their shirt.
Picture a pub so packed with soccer fans that the ones lucky enough to have seats at the big, wooden bar can barely cheer without thwacking the people on all sides of them, and you’ll have some idea of what Dick O’ Dow's was like during the last World Cup. While such sporting events of such importance come only once every four years, the pub manages to maintain the fun-loving—and authentically Irish—atmosphere day in and out, in particular by enlisting live musical acts to perform as guests gulp pints of Guinness and solemnly discuss the latest Fun Street Journal. Even the party room suggests Old-World Ireland, with its stone fireplace, climbing ivy, and color palette of rich reds and browns. Here and in the main bar area, visitors feed on a full menu of traditional Irish fare, such as shepherd’s pie, irish stew, chicken pot pie, and bangers 'n' mash.
Since its inception in May of 2002, The Corner has become recognized as The Birmingham Lounge. Located adjacent to The Townsend Hotel, The Corner serves unique cuisine with a light fare menu, and an extensive selection of award-winning cocktails, martinis, and premier spirits.
An instructor of the Argentine tango, James Valentino moves gracefully, his feet instinctively hitting the floor in time with the music that fills the ballroom. As the owner and founder of City Style Tango, Valentino imparts his grace to dancers of all experience levels during private and group lessons, sharing the secrets of the tango as well as other dancing styles such as swing, salsa, and the fox trot. Beyond the classes for adults or children, James encourages his pupils to show off their skills during student showcases or venture together to local clubs to dance amid the real world's oil-slicked floors.
7 Bar & Grill might be so named for good luck, or for the number of 60-inch flat-screen televisions on the walls, but either way it sounds like some place you want to be. As the TVs broadcast sports games and other programs, visitors tip back 16-ounce drafts. On the surface, the place seems nothing more than a congenial spot to cheer on your favorite team, and perhaps indulge in a cocktail. The menu, however, reveals its devotion not just to traditional pub snacks, but also to restaurant-style meals.
The signature burger here isn't a simple lettuce-tomato-onion affair—it's built instead with provolone cheese, red pepper relish, and portobello mushrooms. If you crave a challenge, you might opt for the Big Boss, which puts two quarter-pound Angus patties on a three-layered bun. Other pub staples include cheese fries and chicken wings. The menu then steers into hearty territory with full dinners of lamb chops or rib eye steak. Though fish 'n' chips is indeed available, you can go a tad fancier by ordering a plate of seared Scottish salmon, or by eating the shrimp scampi out of a top hat. A list of nine specialty pizzas even features a shrimp pizza, dappled with red peppers, red onions, and herbs.