Having taken up residency where Fairhope's Central Cafe once lived, Courtyard at 311 carries on the historic building's tradition with an updated, casual dining experience. Inside, waiters dole out seafood and sandwiches for lunch and dinner daily, including the Battle's Wharf, a po'boy that fuses hot turkey, ham, and sautéed shrimp with spicy melted cheese. Owners Harry and Alissa Johnson and Zack Smith–who also own Rosie's Grill–work with a staff of 30-plus employees to create an inviting atmosphere, which receives a musical boost on Thursdays and Sundays when live bands perform.
Nestled in the heart of historic midtown Mobile, Ashland Midtown Pub catches the eyes of passersby with its pleasant open-air patio before ensnaring them with the irresistible wafting aromas of cheesy breadsticks, roasted garlic, and freshly baked pizzas and calzones. Once inside, guests perch upon cushy barstools, surrounded by colorful canvases and plates of piping-hot lasagna or fillets of ahi tuna and flaky blackened grouper. Diners polish off feasts of po’ boys or basil-and-bacon-crowned pizzas with frosty draft brews at the rustic, knotty-pine bartop. As they sup on meals of upscale pizzeria cuisine, patrons dance to the tunes of live musicians or enjoy the interior's fresh, clean air thanks to the pub's no-smoking and no-rudimentary-steam-engine policies.
Paint Nail and Beauty Bar's trend-conscious nail technicians gussy up digits with manicures and pedicures inside a modern blue and white salon. The Weekend Paintin' manicure artfully shapes talons, as a crisp cucumber eyelift firms droopy lids. As one hand clasps a glass of citrus water, a mimosa, or the other hand, the other has its ends brushed with glimmering tints. Patrons can glamorize finger caps with traditional colors, or don fortified chromatic shields with the geleration option. Glossy layers of soak-off gel conform to the nails' natural shapes and protect sensitive cuticles from damage after a swift application. The geleration treatment lasts up to four weeks and spurns chips, smudges, and crab-bite damage. Alternatively, clients can coat their utmost extremities in less than 30 minutes with the Paint by 30 mani-pedi package. Nail technicians layer phalanges in eye-catching shades of polish, or swiftly shelter both fingers and toes under a geleration's long-lasting hues.
Nippon Sushi and Grill's expansive lunch ($10.49) and dinner buffets ($12.99) abound with sushi, rolls, hot dishes, and other delicacies inspired by traditional Japanese cuisine. Nippon's sushi shamans hand-roll specialties such as the Green Dragon roll, deliciously crafted from cream cheese, spicy crab salad, and a fried crab stick, topped with avocado and roe. The cucumber and crab White Tiger roll sports a crown of white fish, tuna, and tempura, and the Ninja Turtle roll's core of cream cheese and crab comes cinched with avocado and a black belt of barbecued eel. Refreshing libations ($1.89) stand by with straws in hand to hose down potential wasabi fires.
Led by phantasm fanatic Pattie Krakowski, Pensacola introduces audiences to the Seville Quarter’s eerie history with stories gathered from employees past and present. Tour-goers assuage moaning stomachs with an optional snack at the Quarter's Palace Café (available for an additional fee), after which their costumed guide materializes to lead them through the haunted habitations of the Seville Quarter, even those normally closed to the living public. In each room, Krakowski will share chilling tales told directly to her by both former and current building employees and a tattling Haley Joel Osment. Attendees can fill brain caves with facts about the quarter’s architecture and antique furnishings while keeping eyes peeled for occasional unexplained phenomena, such as alley cats that can succinctly explain current tax regulations.
With multiple locations throughout northwest Florida, Helen Back Cafe does its best to ensure that cold drinks and hot comfort foods are always nearby. The eateries' signature items are its hearty pizzas. These hand-tossed pies won the 2012 reader' choice poll for Best Pizza in Emerald Coast Magazine, and Esquire urged readers to visit and, "eat the best pizza you've ever shoved in your sunburned face."
With 17 toppings available—including everything from meatballs and jalapeños to chicken and onion—patrons are able to build their own custom pie from scratch. A small selection of sandwiches and other classic finger foods round out the menus, giving visitors snacks to nibble as they enjoy a frosty beer or cocktail from the bar and listen to the live bands on select Friday and Saturday evenings.
For Helen Back Cafe, keeping customers happy is almost as important as giving back to the communities it serves. The staff regularly provides donations to charitable causes, and Helen Back Cafe proudly supports The Special Ops Warrior Foundation, which helps the dependents of fallen soldiers continue advancing their educations.