After the doors swing open, The Big Bang regales guests with an evening of food, drink, and rambunctious, piano-fueled sing-alongs with their crooning cronies. From the acoustic confines of a reserved table, you and your impromptu barbershop quartet can warm up your vocal chords with a plate of pizza and a bracing round of Big Bang's signature Stoli shots. Once you've consumed the regulation amount of food and drinks, take your lilting falsetto or river-dredging baritone to the stage, where a rotating handful of multi-talented melody makers and a team of beer-fueled patrons take turns singing or yodeling their favorite bar tunes. Dramatic ivory-fueled combat comes further supplemented by vibrating bass, explosive drums, laser-guided keytars, and other musical weaponry. They'll take any request you like, and their repertoire spans from rollicking rock classics to modern noisemakers such as hip-hop wonder and minor-character-actor Xcalade. An energetic, round-the-clock live show encourages hip shaking and feet shuffling until 3 a.m.
Like many clubs, Mile 277 Tap & Grill has a mascot. But unlike many clubs, it chose a mascot that was not the least bit cutesy—a custom-built motorcycle. That chopper now sits behind the main bar of the biker-themed restaurant, where roadhouse food meets nightclub vibes. It's not the only bike in the joint, either. Hand-painted motorcycle murals brighten the walls, and roped-off areas display motorcycles from local merchants. Even the 20 high-definition TVs probably flash a bike on their screens now and then.
Despite the hog-heavy environment, founder Keith Rhodes wasn't looking to run just another biker joint. He wanted to combine the gritty feel of a highway stop with the festivity of a DJ'ed party—hence, Mile 277 hosts live music and events most nights every week. Before the show, guests can peruse a menu of classic bar and comfort food, with some eclectic tweaks (salmon burgers, orzo pasta, and chimichangas to name a few). The eats and the drinks all follow the chopper theme. Beer is called "fuel," for example, and martinis are "mototinis," but neither are acceptable substitutes for engine oil.
West End Grill and Pub boasts a laid-back neighborhood atmosphere and an extensive selection of upscale pub grub for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Raise the curtain on the night's curtain-raises with the grill's signature Prince Edward Island mussels steamed in a green curry sauce ($9.95), or frolic through a garden of arugula, blue cheese, pistachios, and caramelized pear tossed in red-wine vinegar and oil ($6.95). To gear up for an epic performance of Shakespeare's hundreds of spec scripts for Major Dad, feast one's heartiest buds of taste on the 16-ounce bone-in pork porterhouse ($15.95)—topped with apple compote and served with braised kale and sweet-potato gnocchi—or the Sonoma steak ($18.95), which comes crowned with blue cheese crumbles and flash-fried leeks atop a bed of horseradish mashed potatoes and zucchini. Bears poorly disguised as restaurant reviewers can delve into the salmon fillet ($14.95), served with turnip cakes and lemon-thyme brussels sprouts. Lengthy intermissions can also be passed with burgers, soups, salads, and the ethereal substance known as al-co-hol, which West End's owners personally conjure from behind the bar each night. Theater-goers are allowed to bring drinks into the Gaslight Theater so that they don't disrupt performances by trying to surreptitiously distill their own moonshine.