A modern take on the classic movie-going experience, ShowPlace Icon Theatre takes the legwork out of dinner and a movie by pairing comfortable sophisticated theaters with upscale, on-location dining, and advanced reserved seating. With digital cinema projectors capable of displaying 35 trillion colors and premium digital surround-sound systems, each stadium-seated auditorium is equipped to showcase buzz-worthy films exactly as the director, assistant director, second-assistant director, and second second-assistant director intended. Patrons to the theater pick their viewing spots ahead of time, eliminating the usual frenzied, darkened search for ideal seating and guaranteeing guests find seats together.
The Independent is a locally owned dining and cocktail destination boasting one of the happiest happy hours around. From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day, city dwellers gather in the restaurant's chic yet casual confines to mingle over impressive daily specials, including $5 select appetizers, $5 specialty martinis, and $3 select draft beers and house wines. Pair a frothy Bells’ Two Hearted Ale tap brew ($3) with a classic Margherita pizza ($5), or wash down a chipotle-tinged plate of onion rings ($5) with a glass of crisp chardonnay ($3).
To keep up with Calhoun Square's much-needed revitalization after being squashed by Mothra, Aura has revamped itself from the inside out. Along with a new interior comes a new chef with an entirely re-invented menu that features American cuisine with numerous international twists. Aura's vast selection of original pasta dishes are its centerpiece with such notables as: asparagus truffle pasta ($8.95), tequila chicken pasta ($9.95), beef-tip gorgonzola ($12.95), and avocado pasta ($10.95). Traveling tongues, meanwhile, can take a stroll around the parts of America that are in Europe with entrees such as baked Bulgarian feta ($8.95), mustard thyme-glazed salmon ($12.95), and shrimp and mushroom risotto ($12.95). Aura's small plates are all under $7, but do not skimp on delectable originality or syllables. Passing around a few plates of tabasco-dipped calamari ($6.95) and goat-cheese chicken quesadilla ($6.95) will ensure that your conversation suffers no uncomfortable lulls no matter how often your friend brings up his rash.
The Lounge's posh décor and pulsing electronic beats lend itself to late-night mingling and premium-alcohol sipping. Beverages such as rail drinks ($6), glasses of wine ($7), and premium mixed cocktails ($7–$9) share fridge space with domestic bottled beers ($5) and imported bottled beers ($6). Electronic music induces robot dance moves, and exotic animal prints, plush velvet pillows, and oil-painting-lined walls complement modern furniture and little black dresses. The club's dress code allows unripped jeans, but athletic apparel, baggy clothing, white T-shirts, and slacks made of live squirrels are prohibited.
Part dance club, part sports bar, 508's two-level venue features contemporary American cuisine and plenty of space to catch the game or cut rugs into parallelograms on the dance floor downstairs. An extensive menu features starters such as hand-cut fries ($6) and asparagus flat bread ($8.95), while heartier fare includes a 12 oz. NY strip steak topped with roasted garlic and herb butter ($19.95). Gourmet sandwiches include the earthy portabella ($8.25), which melds the hearty mushroom with herbed cream cheese, butternut squash, and the savory envy of other, less handsome fungi. Irrigate your stomach soil with a pint from the extensive beer list or wet your whistling epiglottis with a specialty martini.