It sounds just like a movie: a former Disney employee and a former mayor team up to run their own theater. That's exactly what Jeff Brein and Sam Granato did in 1988 with Bainbridge Cinemas, where they still spend Friday and Saturday nights tearing tickets and scooping popcorn. Besides Bainbridge Cinemas, their theater collection—Far Away Entertainment —oversees seven other local theaters, including the historic single-screen Lynwood Theatre. Opened in 1936, Bainbridge Island's first talking picture house now specializes in independent features and foreign films in which actors rearrange the English alphabet to make strange new sounds.
Over at the two-screen Admiral Theater, projectionists give newer Hollywood releases a second run, plus host screenings every year for the Seattle International Film Festival. Far Away's five remaining theaters, each with three to five screens, show digital versions of Hollywood's freshest celluloid. Lean back in the Anacortes' reclining seats, or scarf down an all-beef frank at Oak Harbor while taking in a flick or live screening of the Metropolitan Opera.
If a rainy spring spent languishing fireside and catching up on the latest Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has left you bearing a heavier burden, venture down to the Gig Harbor workout wonderland to learn how to snap sagging skin back into place. Your personal-training sessions will pair you with one of The Club's certified personal trainers in two 55-minute, one-on-oneries that will customize a fitness plan specifically tailored to your personal workout needs. Target tummy flab or blast the body's bacon build-up as you stretch, squat, and sweat your way to a fairer physique. Also included is an all-access week-long membership to The Club at Gig Harbor starting the day of your first session, so you can roam free among the state-of-the-art equipment, hopping on and off the machines at will until you achieve the svelte Mirrenesque shape of your dreams.
The Winchester Pub & Eatery’s resident chefs channel the culinary traditions of English and Irish pubs to craft a menu that merges gastronomic ritual with contemporary flair. Commence noshing with an appetizer of cracked wings; coated in the Winchester’s signature sweet orange-bourbon glaze, the wings traverse tongues with a sense of culinary adventure that surpasses Magellan’s most daring forays into Vietnamese cooking. Bolstered by homemade mashed potatoes and brown gravy, entree plates of bangers and mash put a hurt on pesky hunger pangs, and homemade meatloaf sticks to ribs with a nostalgic embrace. Throngs of beverages—including microbrews, specialty cocktails, and Thomas Kemper root beer—wait in the wings to quench parched palates or spontaneously combusting napkins.
Chopstix provides memorable nights with a concoction of dueling pianos, sing-alongs, and delicious American fare. The menu full of chops, seafood, salads, and pasta satisfies stomachs as ears get hand-fed honey-drizzled peanut-butter-stuffed trills and glissandi. Familiar appetizers such as calamari ($8.99) and coconut shrimp ($9.99) provide a tasty preamble to a steak salad ($14.99) strewn with organic greens, blue-cheese crumbles, diced tomatoes, and terra strips. Or opt for the provolone-smothered mushroom chicken ($14.99). The aptly named Sir Elton's London broil ($15.99) gets topped with béarnaise sauce and accompanied by fresh vegetables and mashed potatoes or krinkle-cut fries for a meatsperience that tastes as hearty and delectable as the eponymous knight’s outfits are glittery.
LaVonte Elegan may have a master's degree in business, but he isn't afraid to get his hands dirty for the sake of a clean carpet. Working alongside his wife, Breanne, LaVonte leads a staff of experienced technicians who attend courses and seminars to stay abreast of the latest cleaning tools and techniques. Their cleaning process starts with a HEPA vacuum to remove dry dirt particles before launching into a meticulous step-by-step regimen that extracts ground-in soil. LaVonte's techs then scour fibers with pet-safe products and a Rotovac machine, which cleans at speeds up to 250 revolutions per minute, leaving it about 20 times drier than cleaning it with a manual scrub wand or teasing it until it cries. Beyond carpet, the crew members at Glow Professional Home Cleaning Services also aim their green cleaning products and hot-water-extraction equipment at stains residing in tile and grout or upholstery.
The Loft Cafe and Social Lounge marries the rustic beauty of lodge-like architecture with a modern menu of Pacific Northwest and Mediterranean flavors that change periodically. Their executive chef has crafted a catalog of small and large plates that pair regional seafood, such as pan-seared Alaskan halibut and bay scallops, with basil-pesto sauce and roasted red peppers in garlic cream. Large parties can even request a custom menu for their festivities, instead of piling their entrees into the shape of a birthday cake.
The chef dispatches all meals to two floors, where shadows cast by hanging lights and chandeliers play across wooden ceiling grids. He also sends meals out to the courtyard, where towering heat lamps warm hands grasping coconut mojitos—one of the eatery’s many handcrafted cocktails. During happy hour, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day, guests take advantage of the lower cocktail prices and snack on spicy pancetta prawns and dungeness-crab croquettes.