In 1996, the Pro Billiards Tour declared Jimmy Wetch to be the fifth-best billiards player in the world. Now, the pro circulates among the 20 emerald felt plots at Jimmy's Pro Billiards, chatting with fellow billiards enthusiasts. At 9-foot and 7-foot Diamond and Gold Crown tables, players sink colorful spheres, and snooker tables encourage them to yell “snooker” as loud as they can. The staccato snap of the cue against a ball rhythmically fills the 10,000 feet of airy, high-ceilinged space. In the kitchen, the staff slices deli meats and pairs hand-pattied burgers with hand-cut french fries and beers with manually placed bubbles.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
An architect by training, Tina Ottmar spent years honing her artistic abilities, mastering both the precision of drawing a blueprint sketch and the creativity of crafting an original design. In 2009, wanting to give her grandmother a creative outlet at her senior home, Tina began offering art classes with ever changing projects. Today, at Artsy Smartsy, Tina has expanded her offerings, offering classes for kids and adults to explore new artistic skills. Each class uses high-quality materials and delves into age-appropriate theory and practice, educating children how to craft a masterpiece and teaching parents not to lick the stones.
Since 1986, 7th Street Tavern, formerly known as Champps Americana, has served up burgers and classic American dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. Amid the sunlit dining room, diners at wooden tabletops have views of 25 TVs broadcasting sports games, competing with a cluster of arcade games for eyes' attention. Chefs cater to taste buds by plumping up pastas with chicken, shrimp, and vegetables and piling rolls with beef patties, barbecued pulled pork, and spicy buffalo chicken. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with an expansive selection of draft beers and wine. The bar and grill draws guests with regular specials and events throughout the week, including daily happy hours, Thursday-night trivia, and Sunday brunch. Every Tuesday, the restaurant serves up free meals to children, as a magician saunters table to table, entertaining kids with tricks and balloon art, crafting replacement siblings on request.
The year 1927 saw Babe Ruth’s Yankees dominate pro baseball and the precursor to Big Louie's Bar and Grill—Main Street Tavern—open in Minneapolis. In addition to depicting athletes from that bygone era, the Big Louie’s menu catalogs an array of traditional American bar and grill fare. From boneless wings to fish ‘n’ chips, the cuisine roster has even more depth than the famed Yankees lineup of ’27. The restaurant further establishes its entertainment value by hosting karaoke and bingo and by not allowing recitations of real-estate-law books.
In 1960, James Welsch's grandfather purchased a then 56-year-old tavern, breathing new life to an old establishment and kicking off what would be a longstanding staple in the Arden Hills community, Three Welsch generations later, the eatery—now more than a century old—still dishes up a menu of comfort food ranging from housemade pizzas to open-faced meatloaf sandwiches. In addition to serving up drinks at the bar, the establishment regularly hosts live comedy events, including improv-style readings of the daily specials.