A hearty appetite is encouraged at Clancy’s Irish Pub, where a champion burger challenge bates mouths to down a 5-pound behemoth burger and a full pound of fries in less than 45 minutes. Only three customers have ever succeeded, and their pictures reside on Clancy’s wall of fame as a testament to their steely reserve and superhuman jaw strength. In addition to holding photos of these championship mugs, Clancy’s butter-hued walls come stippled with golden brown, as if prophesying the deep-fried goodliness of the menu’s jalapeño poppers and cheesy mozzarella sticks. Amid the glow of neon beer signs and flat-screen TVs, tables load up with pints from the bar’s selection of more than 50 brews, as well as pub classics such as fish and chips, shepherd's pie, and the cheese-and- bacon-slathered chicken Dubliner. After two-handing a signature Jack Daniels chicken sandwich, guests can partake of weekly events such as beer-pong competitions, trivia, and DJ dance nights.
In 2003, two fitness-industry veterans, both tired of gyms' reputations as exclusive and elitist establishments, decided to start Fitness 19, a series of gyms dedicated to cultivating a friendly and convenient environment for families to work out in. Needless to say, they experienced meteoric growth—a Fitness 19 logo now hangs above the gym doors of numerous locations spread across 26 states. The gym's owners invest entirely in equipment, outfitting each location with dozens of treadmills, free weights, and resistance-training machines. They also ensure every location has a kids' playroom with games appropriate for the youngest tykes, as well as TVs and DVD players so that tots can watch their favorite shows, such as Thomas the Tank Engine's Total Body Workout.
Rana Khami worked for years on the business side of the fitness industry, staring through the glass at all the people she was helping. She found her position in sales unfulfilling without the personal contact with clients working-out on the floor. So, she left and pursued a personal-training certification, returning to the industry a mere six months later as a trainer. She left behind the traditional gym setting, as well, creating a program that she could teach to clients in their own homes. Today, she runs Changing Lives Personal Training, helping people to live healthier lives through one-on-one training sessions and nutritional advice.
No art school degree is necessary to paint at Wine and Canvas--all participants need is a canvas, art supplies, and an apron, all of which are included in each class. The local artist instructor gives step-by-step directions throughout, helping students select their colors and turn the canvas right side up. Drink specials add to the festive milieu, and afterwards, participants can take their paintings home with them.
Madison's Pub owners envisioned a pub that had it all under one roof. So when they discovered a 100-year-old, three-story brick building nestled in downtown Mount Clemens, it seemed like the obvious choice to fulfill their dreams. Just beyond glass garage doors, they set up a large hardwood floor with enough room for their patrons to dance or herd elephants, and they peppered the bar with over a dozen high-definition plasma TVs and an eight-foot big-screen TV with surround sound for sports fans to follow the Tigers and Redwings. Owners also set up a smaller bar at the front of the building to give guests a quieter place to chat. As everyone's bound to work up a hunger from all the activity, the pub's chefs devised a menu of hearty burgers and sandwiches, as well as specialties such as mac ‘n’ cheese and beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips. Named the Best Bar Patio by Real Detroit Weekly from 2009–2012, the large outdoor patio accommodates hundreds of pub-goers, with plenty of seating and shady umbrellas. The breezy space also boasts a grill, where pit masters barbecue affordable, tasty ribs and burgers to complement cold brews and fresh air. During warmer seasons, DJs spin tunes and unnecessary wool under the patio's hanging café lights.
The collection of ramps and half pipes inside Landslide Skate Park's 22,000-square-foot indoor skate facility offers a year-round haven for skaters of all skill levels. During private, group, or open-skate lessons, students master the nuances of kick-flips as experienced skaters demonstrate tricks and retired skateboards deliver instructive lectures. The park's foam pit provides a soft, cushy landing for skaters to practice aerial maneuvers without fear of injury, and a slew of private party rooms, flush with snacks and foosball, host birthday celebrations. Serious skaters can purchase top-of-the-line gear and apparel from brands such as Zero, Habitat, and Alien Workshop in the pro shop, or invest in a park membership for discounted access to the park and lessons without having to disguise yourself as Tony Hawk's legal guardian.