The night after John Chacko, a hardworking man about to realize his dream, purchased the Jimmy's Central Lanes bowling alley, a roiling flood ripped over the banks of the Susquehanna River and destroyed the site. As a solitary man standing amid the wreckage, it would have been easy to walk away, but that wasn't his style. Instead, he rolled up his sleeves, ripped down the walls, and pulled up the floors. Not even a nail could be salvaged, but his love for the alley was still fully intact.
Today, it's hard to believe Chacko's was once under water. New lanes run as far as the eye can see, marked by fluorescent purples and blues, and a Memory Lane Lounge offers respite with draft beer and flat-screen TVs. But Dan Chacko still remembers the deluge. Bowling-alley patrons can stop into his pro shop and pick his brain about that breathtaking flood, or they can seek his advice on bowling-related matters such as how to pick up a split or how to match your wardrobe to your bowling shoes.
An Evening with Groucho stars award-winning Groucho Marx impersonator Frank Ferrante in a rollicking evening that pays tribute to the bespectacled and mustachioed master of wit. Slinging out Groucho one-liners, anecdotes, and classic tunes such as “Lydia the Tattooed Lady,” Ferrante creates a comedic experience accessible to die-hard Groucho fans and Marx Brothers novices alike. With several moments of ad-libbing and audience engagement, as well as an onstage pianist to provide a little mood music and play a few cuts from Groucho’s solo techno-folk album, the performance paints a precise portrayal of the legendary comedian. The show runs at a fast-paced 90 minutes, with a 15-minute intermission. Call ahead for showtime availability.
Nestled in Syracuse’s historic Armory Square district, PJ’s Pub and Grill’s unpretentious atmosphere belies the filet mignon sizzling in its kitchen. Patrons can slice into gourmet beef cuts and other upscale dinner entrees, such as a sesame-crusted tuna and portobello-stuffed ravioli, as games unfold on the eatery’s big-screen TVs. Alternatively, diners can opt for bar-style eats, which complement a bar-sized selection of wine, beer and shots. Dishes range from shepherd’s pie and grilled paninis to burgers, such as the Southwestern, crowned in pepper jack cheese and onion straws. A daily rotation of lunch and happy-hour specials adds an element of surprise to the dining experience, much like finding a winning lottery ticket in your date's wallet, and groups can retire to a choice of two brick-walled banquet halls for private celebrations.
Seasoned boat captains and crustacean prospectors Sig Hansen, Johnathan Hillstrand, and Andy Hillstrand gather to share with audience members their tales of struggle and survival during crab season on the high seas, as partly documented by the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Fishing the Bering Sea in the middle of winter demands strong wills—which can come together in times of treacherous weather and 100-foot waves or come to blows about who performs better in the three-legged crabwalk race. Selected audience members will also have the chance to don the survival suits from the Time Bandit. Following the story-swapping and previously unreleased video footage, greenhorns and avid fans will have the opportunity to launch questions at the captains, wave giant foam claws, and learn how to communicate in claw-snap Morse code.
Vitreous chocolate reservoirs and scratch-made desserts melt on tongues in Bittersweet Wine Bar & Desserts' romantic, subdued environs. Dining duos that opt for the Noah's Ark fondue shepherd morsels of cake, fruit, and brownies into pools of milk, white, or dark chocolate. Three or more friends gather around the Fun-Due's bountiful sugary basin and share dipped morsels along with tips for delivering leftover liquid chocolate into baggie-lined pockets. For un-dipped desserts, the peanut butter dream ($5.75) slathers a chocolate cookie crust in pillowy peanut ribbons, and the death by chocolate ($7.15) hints at penalties for Candy Land treason, as it enrobes spongy chocolate cake and mousse in a creamy chocolate ganache. Diners can take chewing breaks to admire hanging frosted lights that illuminate a marble bar as a pink paint ribbon bisects chocolate and cream walls.
Grab a film buff BFF who deserves a popcorn-enhanced night out and head to the recently renovated 1922 Palace Theater for a double-feature Brew-and-View session. At the Brew and View, celluloid lovers can enjoy Syracuse’s largest single-screen theater while indulging in a frosty beer or sipping on a glass of wine. You’ll take in two recent classics or underrated gems that were quickly forgotten after the onslaught of 3-D films and perm machine-equipped theater seats. The series starts December 5th with the 2010 historical thriller_Centurion_ and the Japenese cult classic Shogun Assassin_.