At Blo Hookah Bar, guests lounge upon cozy couches as they puff up to 70 different flavors of shisha tobacco through ornate water-cooled pipes. Guests can try fun flavors such as Cherry Bomb, grapefruit with mint, or mint with mint. They can even pack a single serving to take and enjoy at home. In the lounge, an array flat screens broadcast sports and TV shows overhead as visitors blow rings of smoke, sip craft beers or tasty cocktails, and pass the time with friends.
The Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani only honors the most authentic Neapolitan pizza with its seal of certification. The pies at 5th St. Pub make the cut. Perhaps it’s the dough recipe penned 150 years ago. Or maybe it’s the fresh veggies and imported Italian meats and cheeses that chefs pile on top of the menu’s traditional and creative pizzas. Regardless, a slice of margherita or bruschetta pesto pizza complements a craft beer or glass of wine.
The entry door slams shut, and you immediately plunge into a world of terror and macabre. Skeletons hang from a dungeon's walls, maniacal clowns run through a fun house, and a blood-spattered bathroom horrifyingly runs out of soap. This is Dimensions of Darkness, a haunted walk-through that takes brave souls across a maze of terrifying rooms with even more terrifying inhabitants. The fright fest has caught the attention of USA Today and the Toledo Free Press, which noted that "each room, hallway and prop is so well-crafted that if you’re not being stalked by one of the resident ghouls, your focus is on how real everything feels."
Thoroughly immersed in their roles, live actors pop out at guests, thus filling every room with an orchestra of screams. Meanwhile, fog creeps over the floors and creepy sounds build tension between every scare. But despite this terror, visitors are never trapped. Security officers, each thoroughly vaccinated against zombies, stand ready to lead guests to the nearest exit should they wish to depart early.
Like a camera obscura built around a dinner table, Home Slice Pizza stays forever focused on its cuisine. Within the brick-lined establishment’s kitchen, chefs toss and fire large and extra-large thin-crust pizzas topped with ingredients as classic as pepperoni and anchovies or as original as artichoke hearts, seasoned steak, and A1 sauce. Under this flavor ornamentation lies the pizzas’ true foundation: cheese. Blends of mozzarella, feta, ricotta, cheddar, parmesan, and romano provide a solid base for creative ingredient combinations and add a gooey warmth to every bite. Not content to be confined to pizzas alone, cheese also douses orders of pan-baked cheese bread and supports focaccia subs flecked with herbs and stuffed with hot ham, turkey, bacon, and veggies.
Landmarks of standup for decades, Connxtions Comedy Clubs remain mainstays for up-and-coming comics and national stars, with a roster of past performers that includes Sinbad, Drew Carey, Tim Allen, D. L. Hughley, and Rob Schneider. Headlining comedians, many seen on national television, keep the venues teetering Thursday–Saturday nights, whereas Wednesday nights host improv spectacles and open mics where rookies can begin their ascent into stardom or descent into miming. While refueling chuckle tanks, duos and groups can split a savory appetizer, such as cheese bread or chicken wings, or enjoy a potent cocktail at the bar.
You could argue that, as a self-proclaimed gastropub specializing in "burgers, bands, and bourbon," Bar 145 is not quite a cozy bar and not quite an upscale restaurant. Or, you could say that it offers the best of both worlds. The menu appeals to refined and socially responsible palates alike with local produce, cheese from Zingerman's Creamery in Ann Arbor, and all-natural, humanely raised beef from Niman Ranch. The line between fine dining and casual is further blurred when the waiter arrives at your table wearing red Chuck Taylor tennis shoes and holding a build-your-own burger atop, of all things, white china. Even the name Bar 145 is a hybrid: the first portion points to its hefty beer and bourbon reserves, and the 145 refers not to an address or the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a truffle french fry, but to the ideal temperature of a medium-rare burger.
The label-defying hot spot is also known for its live music, tuning up acoustic sets, dueling pianos, and full bands from Ohio and across the country six nights a week. Bar 145's musical roots run as deep as those of its chef, Robby Lucas, who once cooked dinner for Metallica after its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, according to the Toledo City Paper. The space itself leaves plenty of room for air-guitar solos at the 50-seat, oval-shaped bar on the outdoor patio.