UFC competitor Clay Guida's job is to lock himself in a cage with a sinewy monster who is just frothing to roundhouse, uppercut, and strangle him until he can't move anymore. More often than not, he's the last one moving. With four knockouts, 15 submission holds, and nine matches called by the ref, Clay's winning record—and his allergy to getting knocked out—speak to the well-rounded approach to strikes, grappling moves, and defensive techniques he teaches his students.
Whether he's training fighters for the ring, kids to stand up to bullies, or hearts to pump right in MMA family-fitness classes, he maintains a comfortable and controlled environment. Martial-arts classes, striking workshops for women, and children’s programs take place in Clay’s 6,500-square-foot facility lined with shock-absorbing Zebra and full-wall mats. Students spar in full octagon and boxing rings to simulate real-world blood sport and hammer home their techniques on a plethora of striking bags and pads. For people who want the fitness without the fighting, his exercise sessions take place in a separate strength-and-conditioning area filled with kettlebells, weights, ropes, treadmills, sandbags, and tires.
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
At Batool Salon, a coterie of beauty service providers enhances the natural appearances of clients with a blend of ancient techniques and modern trends. During eyebrow-threading sessions the string-wielding perfectionists festoon facescapes with precise lines and streamlined eye moustaches. The thread quickly removes singular hairs, which eliminates guesswork and prevents skin irritation. Eyelash extensions also accentuate guests' ocular features, and natural henna tattoos decorate bodies with intricate, personalized patterns for up to two weeks. In addition, Batool Salon features a boutique with hand-embroidered clothing items and accessories that are one-of-a-kind to reduce the likelihood of showing up at a party in the exact same outfit as another mannequin.
When he was a boy in the small town of Mount Olive, Illinois, Dr. David J. Rubis dreamed of being a dentist. Doggedly pursuing his goal, he graduated from Northwestern University Dental School in 1978 and opened his own practice. Years later, his son, Dr. Joseph Rubis, followed in his footsteps by joining a growing network of dental-care centers headed by Rubis pére. Now, as the network boasts 30 dentists working at 10 locations throughout Chicagoland, Advanced Family Dental & Orthodontics, PC, continues its founder’s mission to provide the best care for patrons' teeth, gums, and crippling need to collect every color of complimentary toothbrush.
Family Fun Zone packs a spectrum of entertainment catering to ages 14 and under into one hub complete with roller-skating rink, laser-tag arena, and an arcade. Multicolored lights sweep over the roller rink where birthday-party guests practice figure 8s or 44s, fueled by pizza and soda. Visitors transition from gliding to ducking beneath laser rays, and watchful parents can enjoy free WiFi from the comfort of the snack bar. Guardians also dole out tokens for the arcade, where glowing machines spit out tickets to a soundtrack of buzzing TVs and family-friendly music.
Authentic Mexican recipes outfit fresh meats with delicious aromas within the traditional kitchen of Carnitas Don Rafa. Equipped with a 40-year-old recipe, expert meat-seasoners craft signature carnitas—tender morsels of fried pork served beside rice and beans and an imposing cactus salad that wards off thieves. Protein-laden breakfast dishes kick off morning routines with hearty doses of scrambled eggs and tortilla strips, and evening munchers can wash down platters with cocktails and cognac.