In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
The clacking of pool balls is the nightly soundtrack at Gate City Billiards Club. Public and private rooms feature 11 Brunswick Gold Crown tables and 3 Diamond tables, which allow for open-play and league games?as well as lessons helmed by experienced instructors. Though pool is the main attraction, the space also welcomes casual play with a ping pong table, dart boards, and foosball tables, and camaraderie around live sports shown on eight flat-screen TVs. An on-site bar serves more than 50 beers and spirits.
Fat Dog's Grille & Pub serves fresh, made-to-order, quality pub food?think wings, lean ground beef burgers, and sandwiches?in a lively casual atmosphere. Big screen TVs broadcast all major sporting events and tournaments, allowing fans to root for their team over a basket of spicy, savory hot wings and krinkle fries, while an outdoor patio comes alive during warm weather months, so guests can bask in the sun as they sample from Fat Dog's 60+ beer selection.
La Fiesta Restaurante Mexicano?s classic dishes have earned the eatery a long-standing award proudly displayed on the website: Best Mexican Restaurant nine years in a row, as voted by readers of the Times-News. At the start of each workday, the restaurant?s chefs fry the popular tortilla chips and whip up bowls of salsa. Then they get to work on such dishes as chicken simmered in a chipotle cream, char-grilled steak tacos, and spinach burritos.
At any given time, the Rioja! WineKeeper's handsome wooden casing houses 12 bottles in a temperature-controlled setting. These conditions keep the wines fresh and result in a full-flavored pour. A quick flick of the tap and a crisp white or bold red streams into Riedel crystal, the only glassware used at Rioja! A Wine Bar. Between these sophisticated pouring and storing methods, and the sheer immensity of the full selection—some 800 wines—Rioja!'s dedication to the appreciation of wine is palpable.
Their tapas menu was designed with elegant pairings in mind and—much like playing "spin the bottle" at the UN—highlights flavors from around the world. Prosciutto bruschetta, stuffed dates, and a chorizo and manchego plate show off the kitchen's Mediterranean leanings. South African-style jerky, on the other hand, indicates a willingness to infuse an Old World dining tradition with New World recipes. The bartenders also keep a healthy selection of craft beers from brewers such as Bell's, Duck Rabbit, and Founders.