Named after a famous player of the traditional uilleann pipes, The Kerry Piper honors the tastes and history of the Emerald Isle by serving authentic Irish eats in a pub steeped in classic decor. Natural sunlight illuminates the earthen walls and richly stained wood that fills the dining room, where live performers play music throughout the week. Meanwhile, the aromas of freshly cooked shepherd’s pie, fish 'n' chips, and corned beef fill the air, transporting patrons across the Atlantic along with big-screen LCD TVs just like the ones that filled Ireland’s ancient castles.
It's rare to witness even a second of silence at Maxum Bar & Grill, where the air is forever filled with the clinking of beer mugs, the clatter of pool balls, and the chatter of friends. Twenty television screens speckle the walls, sending the buzz of sports games out across the 5,000-square-foot space. On weekend nights, the lively joint echoes with the strain of live rock-band performances and DJ sets.
The atmosphere is equally boisterous in the kitchen, where juicy steaks crackle on the grills and huge pots bubble with housemade soup. Chef Kurt Guzowski and his chefs bustle about folding housemade sauces, tender meats, and fresh seafood into burgers, wraps, and other pub favorites. They shower plump chicken wings in a choice of seven different sauces, including tangy teriyaki and savory garlic. They also prepare the catch of the day according to customer specifications, grilling, sautéing, or enraging fresh fish filets until sizzling hot.
Ballydoyle specializes in comforting Irish fare and even more comforting Irish ales. Folks will wonder why more meat isn't corned after trying the star of Ballydoyle's sandwiches, the corned beef on marble rye (8.95). Heartier Irish specialties include shepherds pie ($11.95), Bangers and Mashed ($11.95), and Dinny's Irish Fry—an aorta-challenging amalgamation of Irish bacon, Irish sausage, black-and-white pudding, grilled tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, baked beans, two eggs any style, toast, and the keys to Dublin for those that clean their plates ($12.95). Another Irish specialty, boxty ($11.95–$13.95), wraps a homemade potato griddle cake around a variety of fillings, such as vegetables, chicken, and Larry Bird's NBA championship rings. An Irish pub would just be Denny's without an extensive list of draft and bottled beer. Ballydoyle's is one of the only pubs that serves McCaffrey's Irish Cream Ale, making it as delicious as it is exclusive.
Another Round Bar & Grill slings bodacious beers and a full menu of robust American fare in a sporty atmosphere outfitted with two bars and a host of flat-screen TVs. A bounty of boneless wings huddles in 6-piece ($5.49) to 50-piece ($38.99) bundles, spanning flavors such as zesty garlic, chili lime, and extra-hot three alarm. Ample appetites meet their match with the bagel burger ($8.49), a half-pound patty topped with american and cream cheese and forged in an aerodynamic shape that flies deliciously down gullets. Tacos, chili, and pizza also make appearances on Another Round's all-star roster, while 20 draft beers wash down delectable dishes, saving the trouble of ripping a fire extinguisher off the wall. An outdoor patio enables summertime sun soaking, while inside, a roped-off lounge area provides privacy for unveiling secret teleporter blueprints.
Q Sports Bar & Grill couldn't fit all its pub attractions under one roof. There were too many beanbags, not enough room for the pool tables, and nowhere for the darts to hide. So, guests can get their Q fix at locations in both Darien and Downers Grove. An Internet jukebox plays convivial tunes as waiters take food orders, describing, if asked, the kitchen's bounty of housemade chicken wings, turkey clubs, Angus-beef burgers (Darien), and burrito and taco entrees (Downers Grove).
Both restaurants invite patrons to wend through a sea of green-felt pool tables and keep in touch with sports via high-definition TVs. Additionally, Q's Darien location boasts a large projection screen and in-booth models in addition to the regular wall-mounted TVs. The Darien spot is also the place to catch performances by local and nationally touring musicians or soak up vitamin D on an outdoor patio.
In October 1957, the owners of Suburbanite Bowl watched their dream become a reality as they opened the doors of their brand-new alley perched atop a swampy piece of land at the end of a gravel road. Since then, Suburbanite Bowl has undergone multiple renovations and has doubled their lane space. Today the 32-lane alley is outfitted with a modern Bose music system and automatic scoring for those with pencil phobias. Home to open bowling and leagues geared toward all demographics, the alley garnered praise from Centerstage for its black-light bowling, when music "well-suited for busting out a cocky strut" blares across glowing lanes. The festivities unfold on Friday and Saturday nights after 8 p.m., as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. for bowlers with earlier bedtimes.
Players can also compete in Bill and Frank's Game Room, where classic and contemporary arcade games and an LCD TV border four softly lit pool tables. Nearby, the snack shop caters onsite parties and helps bowlers power throwing arms without having to plug them into a wall socket.