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.
Passersby peer through Center City Bar & Grille's window to spot hungry carousers noshing tasty, high-end pub dishes during lunch, dinner, and into the wee hours. A delectable blend of southern favorites and homemade touches pepper the menu. Douse the fried green tomatoes ($5) into their homemade ranch dipping sauce before consuming the succulent Southern fried chicken breast ($9), served with garlic mashed potatoes, collards, and onion gravy. To practice simple hand-beef coordination, pick up the Old Southern Favorite burger ($5.75) with homemade pimento cheese, bacon, and fried green tomato, or try the fish and chips ($12), served Southern-style. Many finger-lickin' specials rotate daily, so don't hesitate to solicit a knowledgeable server for the rolodex.