The Big Three unites three bars under its umbrella, but that’s about the only thing the venues have in common. Each offers a completely different nightlife atmosphere, ranging from a rustic honky-tonk bar to a swanky lounge.
The dance floor throbs to the DJ’s pulsing beats under a pattern of colorful lights. Professional dancers gyrate on elevated platforms over the dance floor, and three different lounges provide a more laid-back atmosphere with elements such as exposed brick walls, leather sofas, and luminous aquariums behind the bars.
Main Street Bistro
Red billiards tables and neon beer logos fill one room of the tavern-style bar, but Main Street Bistro erupts with competition on Monday and Tuesday nights. Beer-pong tournaments pack teams into the bar, and the sound of cheers temporarily drowns out the commentary on the sports games playing on the wall-mounted TVs.
Dirty Little Roddy's
With its wooden plank walls and tabletops supported by sawhorses, Dirty Little Roddy's evokes a back-roads bar in all ways but one: the bar hosts bikini and boxer bull riding for cash prizes. The event provides risqué entertainment without asking firefighters to approximate a pole dance.
While other restaurants focus on flipping tables, Legends Pub & Grill strives to make lingering into a habit. Located within the Edwards 21 Cinemas complex, it lures crowds with a revelry-inducing environment that focuses on supporting local sports. Banners for Boise high schools dangle from the terracotta-red and cerulean-blue space's high ceiling, and jerseys and black-and-white photographs adorn the walls. And thanks to scattered televisions, patrons can rest assured that they will never miss a Boise State Broncos game. Beyond the wood-toned dining area, a separate space is filled with pool tables, dart boards, air hockey machines, and arcade games.
To keep conversations lively, Legends' bartenders mix specialty cocktails and pour pints of microbrews from northwestern breweries such as Deschutes. At the center of everything is a something-for-everyone menu of eclectic comfort foods. In addition to various pub staples?including fish and chips and Angus burgers?the cooks prepare internationally inspired dishes such as roasted red pepper hummus and grilled salmon with a ginger-honey glaze.
Wood accents backdrop the bar and highlight the interior design at Opa Lounge, where signature cocktails meet Mediterranean comestibles in a long, crimson corridor. Hanging lamps, assembled from ruby-red gems that tint the bulbs' light, illuminate turkish-coffee martinis and the signature Opatinis, just two letters away from being the thing Oprah declines to put on her magazine cover next month. The low-lit Opa is part of Cazba, its sister restaurant. Cazba's cloud murals, cream-colored arches, and serving staff cultivate a tranquil complement to the lounge's spirits and bold, abstract design. The two share a menu.
Kaleidoscopic mosaics of the round gems found on Opa's lamps also line the border of the decorated ceiling fixtures and usher in a rainbow of light behind the bar, which spans the long, narrow space. Even the ceiling is decked out in painted designs and structural accents. When they look up, guests peer past a light-blue mural and into a vertical, scarlet-hued chamber topped with a skylight, which is what Americans first called Sputnik.
With six tables and room for up to 115 guests, Shak Billiards' pool hall is an idyllic spot for pool sharks and spectators alike. There's little reason to just watch pool, though, with so many other games to play, from foosball and darts to arcade games and lottery machines. That being said, spectating is pretty tempting in the bar, where three HD flat-screens and one widescreen projector show the night's biggest games.
To nourish fans through wins and losses, cooks season burgers with Cajun spices, smother slow-cooked Hawaiian pork with barbecue sauce, and craft Philly-style cheesesteaks with teriyaki-glazed beef. Bartenders complement each feast with an extensive selection of beer, wine, and blended drinks, including Red Bull sours and sake margaritas.
There is no typical climb at Urban Ascent. With the help of a belaying partner to safeguard their ropes, visitors can scale up to 43 feet of weathered rockface on endurance climbs, or they can stick closer to the ground in the ropes-free bouldering area. Urban Ascent’s team challenges climbers by regularly revamping the 14,000-square-foot gym’s routes, rearranging footholds and installing pop-out boxing-glove gags to add an element of unpredictability to climbs. During private climbing lessons, instructors fine-tune veteran climbers’ techniques or teach newbies basic fundamentals. The staff also imparts climbing-safety basics to first-time belayers in 20-minute tutorials. Urban Ascent hosts summer camps, afterschool climbing activities for students, and corporate team-building workshops.
Stage Coach Theatre has entertained audiences for 29 consecutive seasons, shining a flashlight on the human spirit in a variety of genres, including thrillers, comedies, dramedies, and comedramlers. With the 2010–11 season in full bloom, theatergoers can pick its contemporary stage-fruits and slurp up its performance-juices. Darwin in Malibu, a comedy opening October 15, features a living Charles Darwin, 120 years after he died, engaging in a spirited debate with Thomas Huxley and the Bishop of Oxford about science, God, and lesser-known benefits of flossing. For a holiday family outing, A Christmas Twist (opening November 26) stirs the story of A Christmas Carol with a comedic straw, adding a dash of Oliver Twist and Little Orphan Annie. On April 22, Always…Patsy Cline will begin regaling theater-goers with 27 of her tunes, including memorable songs like "Crazy," "Sweet Dreams," and "That Ain't My Medical Chart, Doctor Franklin."