Tommy Nevin's Pub was founded by Steven Prescott and christened for his grandfather Thomas Nevin, a WWI veteran. The flagship location in Evanston touts a bright red façade that pays homage to the renowned Temple Bar in Dublin, and the menus at all three locations likewise salute the culture of the Emerald Isle. Though it inhabits a decidedly Celtic corner of the pub world, Chicago Bar Project deemed the Evanston outpost “the best bar in the suburbs” for its “intriguing combination of country Irish pub, modern Chicago bar and cutting-edge alternative music venue.” Chefs whip up corned beef and shepherd's pie as bartenders handle taps and spirits. Friends can cheer on local sports teams on TV or wrack their brains to remember the name of Azerbaijan's currency and most popular potato-chip flavor at weekly trivia nights.
The sounds of revelry drift across an outdoor patio, past Candlelite's martini-glass sign, which casts a soft, warm glow that hearkens back to the eatery's opening in 1950. Regulars in their fourth decade of patronage crowd around thin-crust pizzas, built upon dough made by hand each day, and cheer on athletes on 17 flat-screen televisions. Baskets of golden-brown hand-cut fries sing their cheerful sizzles out into the dining room, where five decades' worth of art and photos leave the exposed-brick walls barely visible. Bartenders slide mugs filled with sudsy caps of Oberon and Hoegaarden down the gleaming bar to thirsty diners and physicists skeptical of a third state of matter.
For Urban Beat Dance founder Shannon Murray, dancing is much more than a passionate pastime. She earned a BA in Dance Administration and Teaching, and illuminated the path towards fleet-footendess for 15 years in both Chicago and Los Angeles. Having performed at concerts and in music videos, Shannon’s diverse dance experiences help her lead a staff of experience dancers. Instructors guide students toward their individual dance goals, whether they want to join an international ballet company or simply learn sashays and pirouettes to perform during jury deliberations.
Recognizing that the desire to dance knows neither the bounds of age nor ability, the instructors at NorthSide tailor their class selection to both adults and children of all levels of experience. They teach various dance styles that run the gamut from classical ballet to jazz and modern dance to hip-hop. Zumba classes supply their sultry rhythms to burn calories, and social partner-dancing classes instruct their attendees in nightclub-worthy moves. The studio space welcomes dancers with vast empty hardwood floors and walls full of mirrored panels, which help dancers hone techniques and foster a healthy sense of competition with the bizarro versions of everyone that live behind the glass.
The professional instructors at Actors Training Center at the Wilmette Theatre empower all types of dramatis personae with targeted acting training. Boasting more than 20 years of stage and screen experience, instructor Ryan Kitley leads aspiring actors on a six-week introduction to lifting the spirits of audiences more effectively than Mary Tyler Moore tossing a puppy into the air. Students dissect individual scenes for both the stage and taped on-camera scene work, working together while they forge the communication skills and confidence needed to thrive as performers. The session concludes with a film screening during class, following by a performance of onstage scenes for a live auditorium full of supportive friends, family, and ionic columns.