Siips—a cozy, wood-finished bistro—boasts a comprehensive selection of more than 75 wines and champagnes, most of which are available by the glass nightly. These bubbly and waft-worthy beverages accompany lunch and dinner menus brimming with fresh Mediterranean fare. Sidle up to the granite-topped bar with a silky smooth Bonny Doon syrah (3 oz. for $7; 6 oz. for $13), and soak up the creamy tannins with savory morsels of antipasto piled high with cured meats, cheeses, and olives ($16.95). Celebrate a special occasion with a crisp glass of Gloria Ferrer bubbly (3 oz. for $7; 6 oz. for $12) that soothes and smoothes the palate just in time for an artfully arranged plate of wine-sautéed escargot ($9.95).
The first Funny Bone location opened in 1982 and has spread infectious laughter ever since. Established stars such as Drew Carey and Jerry Seinfeld have graced the stage, as well as up-and-coming talents with fresh faces, fresh routines, and that fresh pine scent. The venue also plays host to a full-service bar, where patrons may steep their sorrows in calming brews then ingest them triumphantly.
The pub has long served as the epicenter of Ireland’s social life—a place where friendships are made and stories are shared over foamy pints of beer. Finn McCool's Irish Pub positions itself firmly within this tradition of communality, inviting guests to bond while eating fish ‘n’ chips or clinking glasses of Guinness at a hardwood bar that spans the length of the room.
The convivial atmosphere isn’t the only aspect of Finn McCool's that recalls the old country. Traditional Irish staples such as shepherd’s pie, corned beef, and bangers and mash fill the pub’s menu. Savory scents waft through the air as guests throw darts, play billiards, and soak in the sunshine on the outdoor patio. A lineup of flat-screen TVs hums with the sounds of the day’s sporting events, which guests can wager their pots of gold or leprechaun manservants on at the pub’s Colonial Downs betting hub. :m]]
The proprietors of Hurley’s Tavern are committed to offering locally-sourced beer and wine, and fresh food in a relaxing environment. Designed by cofounder Janice Rossano, Hurley's menu is evenly split between food for meat lovers and vegetarians, so both groups, as the Richmond Times-Dispatch notes, "can nosh together in stomach-pleasing harmony."
The carnivore menu includes steak and cheese fries, breakfast nachos, homemade meatballs, and half-pound servings of boneless wings tossed in a choice of more than 10 sauces and dry rubs; herbivore options include garlic hummus, fried mashed potatoes, house-made black bean and rice patty wraps, and pita pizzas topped with house-made broccoli macaroni and cheese. Hurley's also caters to gluten-free and vegan diners with entrees such as burgers made with bean and rice patties. A variety of local craft beers on tap and Virginia wines help wash down meals, which unfold inside a dining room where nary a seat "doesn't have a view of a TV," the Richmond Times-Dispatch happily reports. Patrons can also entertain themselves in their back room Colonial Downs off-track betting parlor.
Park Lane Tavern mimics the feel of European taverns inside and out, from an exterior that pays homage to London taverns to interior furnishings directly imported from Europe. Like a hot dog curtseying to the queen, the menu blends American staples with traditions from across the pond, juxtaposing steaks and club sandwiches with shepherd's pie and fish 'n' chips. Behind a gleaming handcrafted bar, bartenders dole out pints of the tavern's more than 24 beers on tap and pour glasses of wine, single-malt scotches, and small-batch bourbons.
To get a sense of The Greene Turtle's commitment to the neighborhood, one need only sit at the bar and look up. Dozens of mugs hang above the counter, emblazoned with the pub's logo and a unique number—each one belongs to a recurring patron. The Mug Club awards its members with draft-beer discounts and other specials, but more importantly, it allows loyal patrons to feel as though they own small slices of the venue without tattooing their names on the bartender's arm. This sense of shared familiarity is what fuels the entire franchise, which refrains from calling its locations "restaurants" in favor of friendlier terms: gathering places, communities, havens.
Many of the locations contribute more than mugs to their districts. Staff members who participate in the annual Tips for Tots program donate the entirety of one day's tips to a nearby Toys for Tots initiative, and Tuesday Funds for Friends events benefit local organizations. These efforts have been chronicled by press sources such as Food and Drink magazine, with features that liken The Greene Turtles' philanthropic generosity to the generous portions of comfort food that leave the kitchens.
From cheeseburger sliders and flatbread pizzas to handmade lump-crab cakes, the offerings on the menu embrace barroom traditions along with ingenuity. The steak and chicken entrees arrive with classic sides of green beans and yukon gold mashed potatoes, whereas the eastern shore mac ‘n’ cheese updates a comfort staple with chopped bacon, lump crab, scallions, and Old Bay seasoning. Diners can enjoy their meals by the glow of private flat-screen TVs—there's one in every booth—or beneath one of many larger televisions broadcasting sports games throughout the venue.