Dipson Theatres celebrates a reputation as a regional movie institution with a network of 12 locations lighting 57 silver screens across Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. Though the company now spreads across the northeast United States, it began in the small city of Batavia, NY, in 1939—a time when movies were called “picture shows,” Roosevelt was in the White House, and everybody could only see in black and white. Today that tradition underlies the cinematic experience as patrons chomp popcorn and sip sodas, marveling at modern 3-D visual adventures, summer action movies, family-friendly features, or even indie art flicks and footage from world-renowned opera performances.
Taking pool shots inside Bison Billiards can feel more like playing in a professional tournament than at a local pool hall. This is because players test their mettle on multiple professional-quality pool tables––including Diamond and Gabriels––covered in Simonis cloth and stocked with Aramith balls. The in-house pro shop equips players with a variety of cues, accessories, and cases from top-industry names such as Predator and Poison. About the only distraction from the billiards is the stocked bar, which houses more than 25 varieties of beer and a bank of dartboards that enables visitors to practice their aim before the tailless donkeys invade.
Matt Dombrowski opened Magruders more than 22 years ago, and ever since, it’s been serving the public’s need for hearty pub food and drinks. The menu of crispy apps, build-your-own-burgers, and sauced-up buffalo wings complements pours from the bar, which diners can enjoy inside or out on the patio amid fresh air and attention-seeking trees. At the end of each week, the pub entertains guests with comedy, music, or drink promotions.
Back in business after a fire in 2009, the Boston Hotel boasts a menu of USDA Choice steaks and prime rib, as well as sea scallops and lobster. The restaurant?s many fresh fish offerings get added attention on Fridays with specials that include a fresh haddock fish fry and linguini with fresh clam sauce. A selection of draft beers helps wash down entrees or enliven open-bar parties. Lunch hours are 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Williamsville, NY. The early 20th century. A man guides his family’s horse-drawn carriage through the flurries of snow sweeping across their circular driveway before coming to a halt in front of a striking two-story home. The ride was long and chilly, but inside, homey warmth awaits. Today, teleportation discs may have replaced the horse and buggy, but travelers still traverse the same driveway in search of a warm welcome. Now the home of Parings Wine Bar, the turn-of-the-century house reflects the goal that owner Shelia Paolini shared with the Amherst Bee’s Jessica Finch: “We want it to feel like you are coming into a living room, that you are at home, not at a bar.”
As soon as guests push open the bright-red front door, they enter a space that combines the comfort of a lived-in family room with the gourmet flavors found at traditional wine bars. Lit by flat-screen TVs and a cozy fireplace, guests peruse Chef Scott Martin’s ever-changing menu, which often features mediterranean nachos, lobster mac 'n' cheese, and horseradish beef tenderloin. Resident sommelier Alphonso DiMono’s wine list, which culls vintages from global wineries from Australia to France to California, perfectly complements the chef's creations. The bar’s mixologists also shake up more than 20 martinis infused with treats such has espresso vodka, Godiva white-chocolate liqueur, and pumpkin puree. As they sip and eat, guests can also join in special event nights that include art shows, live music, and happy hours that feature 20 types of wine for just $20 per bottle.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.