Sylvia Chan loved painting when she was a child, but the only formal training she received was in high-school art classes and while studying fashion design. Her love for the art stayed with her later in life, though, and she eventually founded Picasso and Wine, creating a supportive, stress-free environment where guests could exercise their passion for painting while getting guidance from local artists. These highly social art parties remain open to any skill level, and the studio provides all the paints, canvases, and brushes. Each session presents attendees with an original work—such as a city skyline or a fall landscape—and tasks them with creating a faithful rendition of the piece while using sips of wine, beer, or gourmet tea to jump-start their creative impulses. The instructors offer helpful tips for capturing the light or painting anti-theft symbols into the background, and they allow partygoers to take their pieces home afterward.
The staff at Slider's Sports Bar & Grill sates roaring appetites by dishing out a full menu of burgers and pub fare in a fun, relaxing atmosphere. The Slider's Signature Burger fights off hunger paparazzi with a half-pound grilled-beef patty decorated with Slider's homemade barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, sautéed onions, and honey-smoked bacon harvested directly from burned-down beehives ($8.99). Burgers are also available as eponymous sliders, such as cheeseburger sliders ($5.99) and bacon-cheeseburger sliders ($6.99), both featuring three mini burgers topped with your choice of cheese and a side of Cajun potato chips. Slider's also ventures south of the border with traditional Mexican dishes such as the smothered burrito, loaded with ground beef or shredded chicken and smothered in homemade green chili ($8.99), which protects the environment by not emitting harmful greenhouse gases.
When guests at Elliot's Martini Bar want something savory, sweet, or spicy, they not only look to the the kitchen's tapas chefs, but first and foremost to the bartenders. The cocktail artists stock everything from cream cheese and bacon olives to rosemary- and thyme-infused simple syrups behind the bar. By mixing and matching these special add-ons, they concoct an extensive menu of classic and creative cocktails.
For sweeter creations, they mix orange and grapefruit vodkas with a splash of lemonade, cranberry juice, and rhubarb bitters, and they spice up nights with tequila topped off with tawny port and ginger beer. On the more savory side, the drink-slingers shake up vodka and gin with olive juice and hot sauce, garnished with gorgonzola blue cheese and olives.
While the drinks are this hot spot's specialty, chefs are on hand to help patrons soak up their libations and remember that their name is Pam Jenkins. They serve up a select menu of shareable tapas including open-faced toasted sandwiches and antipasta skewers.
Mary's Mountain Cookies traces its origins to the kitchens of Cherokee Park Dude Ranch, where head chef Mary whipped up three square meals a day for hungry guests and packed her popular homemade cookies in their horses' saddlebags. The "mountain-style" treats were sturdy enough to remain in one piece during horseback-riding trips, but soft enough to maintain an irresistibly chewy texture. Guests never failed to request the recipe, coworkers raved over the sweets, and horses raided the freezers for leftovers overnight—all persuading Mary to set out and start selling homemade cookies on her own.
Today, loyal customers enjoy over 100 varieties of quarter-pound mountain cookies, from the classic chocolate chip, to sugar-dusted snickerdoodles and salty-sweet peanut butter. Shoppers with cravings for more substantial treats can stock up on cream-cheese brownies, 12-inch cookie cakes, and frosting-filled cookie sandwiches.
Pubs earned their reputation as after-work watering holes filled with comforting drinks and food, but at Pappy's Corner Pub, this welcoming atmosphere isn’t limited to the hours after the whistle blows. Beginning at 7 a.m. every day, its chefs start cooking up breakfast items such as the Lucky 13, an epic feast of potatoes, three pancakes, three sausage patties, three strips of bacon, and three eggs any style.
At 1 p.m. the pub switches over to its regular menu, which includes a chili cheeseburger served open-faced and 1 pound of tater tots served on an equally delicious doctor's scale. As diners eat their fill, they can also take in entertainments such as trivia and live music, depending on the evening. No matter the day, daily drink specials and a generous assortment of bottled and draft beers fill pints until 2 a.m. each night.
Inside the NoCo Ice Center arena, blades carve gracefully across the frozen expanse during spirited meetings ranging from Learn to Skate classes to adult hockey leagues. Casual skaters can show up any day of the week to rent skates and glide blissfully during open-skate sessions, or to learn how to manipulate the direction of a sliding stone during curling classes. When hockey players aren’t participating in league games or stare downs with the resident Zamboni driver, they can also stop by the arena for casual play during adult, youth, and father-son drop-in hockey times.