Reports of strange sights abound near a simple brick building just off the leafy avenues of Avery Park. Some people share stories of a no-frills grill permeated by the smell of juicy steaks and charbroiled burgers, and others tell tales of a hall resounding with music from live bands, laughter, and clinking glasses. These visitors haven?t entered a time warp?they?ve simply found Jekyll & Hyde's, a pub that leads a double life as both a purveyor of hearty eats and nightlife excitement.
Named for the famous short story by Robert Louis Stevenson, the pub celebrates the author?s little-known second career as an artisanal burger chef with specially seasoned beef patties decorated with jalape?o bacon and American cheese. Visitors settle in cozy booths of tufted brown leather to munch on Mr. H's special steak sandwiches or share baskets of chicken fingers, or they can head to the full bar to fix their eyes on the drama of games unfolding on multiple flat-screen TVs. In a separate poolroom, billiard balls clack and clatter over the green felt of nine tables, and players eye their next shots over frosty glasses of beer.
In April of 2011, a group of friends on a fishing trip—all veterans of the hospitality industry—got to talking about their love of food as they cooked their dinner around a campfire. The smoky flavors, crackling flames, and friendship merged into an idea to create a barbecue joint with traditional Southern comfort fare and an interactive dessert element.
Today, diners pile into wood-backed booths to dig into ribs slathered in house sauce, smoked sausages, and a menu stocked with homestyle fare. From three types of mac 'n' cheese—traditional, broccoli, and pulled pork—to fresh-ground burgers made with short ribs, brisket, and ground chuck, the kitchen crew crafts its own takes on classic comfort fare as flat-screen TVs flicker above the bar. The dessert section includes do-it-yourself s'mores that are toasted tableside by a portable burn pit and touted as "the only dessert in town that requires a disclaimer," an honor previously held by torch-it-yourself crème brûlée.
Behind the horseshoe-shaped bar, Cedarcrest Tavern's bartenders pop caps from beer bottles, pull draft taps, and shake cocktails with top-shelf liquors. More than 20 televisions broadcast sports games throughout the tavern, from their ceiling mounts above the bar or tucked into individual booths. Elegant candelabras, framed mirrors, and wood accents contrast the utter modernity of the sprawling flat-screen monitors.
The TVs aren't the only sizeable rectangles at the restaurant—the large menu presents hand-cut fries, burgers, and steaks, which can be enjoyed over games of trivia on Tuesday nights. Other events—such as ladies' and guys' nights, college football celebrations, and live music or DJ's—make Cedarcrest a leisurely destination, unlike Accounting World, where you get to ride rollercoasters, but only while filling out 1040 EZ forms.
You can order more than just your classic burger or hot dog when catching a game at Dream Restaurant and Sports Bar. Chefs create unique twists on American staples to create a full menu of flavor fusions. They top burgers with toppings that range from classics like chili cheese to more eclectic flavors found on the Island burger—a patty drizzled in Jack Daniels Caribbean jerk sauce and a slice of pineapple. Chefs top the all-beef hot dogs with combinations such as BBQ sauce, bacon, and cheddar, or scoops of baked mac and cheese. These pair with the unique flavors of house cocktails, which range from sweet to sour.
In Irish Bred Pub's kitchen, cooks simmer beef in Guinness and brown gravy and stuff shepherd's pies with savory meat. Patrons can dig into Irish favorites or venture beyond the Emerald Isle to taste the cajun flavors of chicken and sausage jambalaya and shrimp sautéed in cajun seasoning. On Mondays and Wednesdays, visitors belt out karaoke favorites, while on Tuesdays and Thursdays they take on trivia challenges to recall obscure facts, such as the name of America's current president.
From the brick-paneled walls and booths lined with dark wooden accents to the seasonal selection of gourmet American cuisine, Blackstone embodies every aspect of the classic steak house. A selection of hearty cuts anchors the menu, whether as solitary 8-ounce cuts of filet mignon, or massive 22-ounce cowboy rib eyes adorned with béarnaise sauce, jumbo lump crabmeat, lobster-shaped earrings, and other edible accessories. Guests can also savor a taste of the seas with plates of Atlantic salmon or pan-fried trout. Blackstone's wine list collects more than 35 pours, including 19 by the glass.