Deer Park Bowl sets an atmosphere of relaxed fun with its state-of-the-art lanes and onsite bar and grill. Patriotic stars and stripes adorn 16 gleaming Brunswick Pro Anvil synthetic lanes that also feature upfront ball returns, delivering balls back to players faster than it takes to memorize the 14 Eskimo words for “bowling.” Servers at the onsite Pinheads Bar & Grill dish up pizzas, fried fare, and Italian entrees as customers play darts, gaze at six plasma televisions, and swig from an extensive selection of cold bottles, tap beer, and top-shelf liquor. On weekend nights, neon lighting transforms the alley into a cosmic wonderland, accompanied by satellite radio and Saturday night.
O’Reilly’s flame-wielders dish up an eclectic menu of traditional Irish-pub fare amid fetching period décor and games fit for the whole family. Imbue taste buds with the savory flavors of a twice-baked shrimp potato ($7.48) before unbridling a gallant fleet of forks upon a legion of irish-sausage links straddled with mashed potatoes and sautéed onions ($14.98). Or invoke the Earl of Sandwich without donning a fluffernutter-encrusted crown by perusing O’Reilly’s selection of handheld eats, which includes the succulent short-rib grilled-cheese sandwich slathered in horseradish sauce ($10.48) and the Bookmaker—a robust layering of filet mignon, sautéed onions, and mushrooms ($13.48). Homemade by O’Reilly’s crack chefs, the strawberry-rhubarb cobbler robes itself with regal dollops of whipped and sweetened Jameson butter ($4.98).
A well-kept secret tucked away in Lindenhurst, The Loyal Dog Ale House is home to more than 100 different beers from around the world. At any given time, Loyal Dog has more than a dozen craft selections on tap, and if visitors want to enjoy a brew at home, they can fill up a glass growler instead furtively pouring drinks into their shoes. The Loyal Dog’s beer list acts as a fitting accomplice to its menu of finger-friendly eats, such as burgers and Jack Daniels pulled pork sandwiches. The international brews and pub grub also fuel festive events throughout the week, including 90s-themed trivia and music on Wednesday nights.
Pool players of all ages and skill levels can find all the right angles at VIP Billiards’ 20 pool tables seven days a week. When not sinking shots into the spot’s 120 pockets, cue hands keep busy with bottles of beer or a cocktail from the full-service bar, and all patrons can pass the time between games by throwing darts, sending ping-pong balls careening across tables, or using the WiFi to look up pro tips for applying chalk. VIP Billiards also opens up its space and all the attendant green felt surfaces for private parties, fundraisers, and APA league teams.
If it weren't for the parking meters in front of Canterbury Ales' Tudor-style building, you might think you were walking into a centuries-old English pub. The spot opened up 35 years ago after two college friends—one an English literature major—journeyed to Canterbury and were inspired to start their own pub. Today, current owner Billy Hoest says patrons are delighted to find that the English-style stews, sandwiches, and never-frozen burgers they loved 35 years ago haven't changed, though they've made some additions over the years. The sizeable beer list, which rotates with the seasons, stars 20 draft beers including craft and local brews, such as Blue Point, backed up by 50 bottled varieties. But the ample sip selection doesn't make Canterbury Ales an adults-only spot. "We're very family-oriented," Billy says. "We're more of a family pub, which we find over in England, than a bar in the sense that you find here." In addition to offering a kids’ menu, he and his staff make sure there are highchairs and coloring pages on hand to welcome their younger patrons. Customers can devour their prime-rib sandwiches, English brown stews, and spicy Cajun blue burgers at dark wood tables and booths. "It's a dark, cozy, warm feel," Billy says. The interior is covered in English artifacts, including a picture of the queen, as well as more than 200 beer tap handles from brews they've tapped over the years and stained-glass panes created by a local artist to depict old English scenes. The snug pub is especially popular when the weather cools down, says Billy, and patrons can warm up with Irish, Jamaican, Mexican, and other coffees, all topped with a dollop of whipped cream. To celebrate its 35th anniversary in April 2012, Billy picked one item from the food menu and one item from the beer list and offered them at the original menu's prices. He wasn't making any money off of it, but for him, it was a way to thank loyal customers. "We have regulars all over Long Island [who] easily travel 45 minutes to an hour to come," he says. "So I do things to give back, to thank the customers for supporting us."