From an exterior modeled after a traditional London free house to interior furnishings imported from Europe, Park Lane Tavern mimics the feel of a European tavern inside and out. Like a hot dog curtseying to the queen, the menu blends American staples with traditions from across the pond, juxtaposing steaks and club sandwiches with shepherd's pie and jagerschnitzel. Behind a gleaming handcrafted bar, bartenders pour from a monstrous selection of libations, including more than 70 draft, bottled, and cask-conditioned beers from around the globe; numerous wines, single-malt scotches, and small-batch bourbons; and creative cocktails, each of which can be found in what the tavern has dubbed their "Beverage Bible."
At first glance, Keagan's Irish Pub and Finn McCool's don't seem so different. Both are thoroughly Irish establishments, serving traditional dishes of shepherd's pie, bangers 'n' mash, and fish ?n? chips in dining rooms adorned with dark woods and stonework accents. Both also feature regular karaoke nights and live-music acts that regale patrons with songs so catchy they're under investigation by the CDC. But Finn McCool's stands out from its sister restaurant in one important aspect?its seafood bar, replete with broiled oysters and clams, steamed shrimp and snow crab, and saut?ed mussels that arrive to tables solo or in hefty combination platters.
The weathered sign outside reads "99 Beers & Ales," directing visitors toward The Weekend Pub's beer list, which overflows with domestic and imported brews. Inside, pint glasses fill with an earth-toned rainbow of suds hailing from Ireland, Scotland, Africa, the Philippines, and France. Hands wrap around familiar bottles from St. George and Celis or slowly count off syllables when writing haikus about Weihenstephaner kristall. Glasses lift against the steady beat of clattering plates, laden with a menu of shaved-steak sandwiches and sirloin burgers crowned in Guinness-based sauce. As eyelids sink contentedly to half-mast, patrons toss beanbags or darts at their respective target in contests of eye-hand coordination. Some evenings, teams compete to correctly answer trivia questions in exchange for prizes and the right to high-five each other every hour on the hour. The sounds of acoustic guitars and tremulous vocals waft through the air during open-mike nights and live musical acts on the weekends.
The Iguana might be one of Hampton Roads' newest gay bars, but it's already making quite a splash in the community. The hotspot is helmed by Patricia Harris, whose drink-slinging prowess earned her the title of 2014's Bartender of the Year by the Norfolk Tourism Research Foundation. Away from the bar, Iguana gives folks a slew of fun-enhancing options. The space includes a dance floor, indoor and outdoor bars, and a patio with pool tables, corn hole, and volleyball. They even overhaul brunch with Brunchbox, their popular Sunday drag show during which people nosh on shrimp omelets and banana pancakes while taking in a show by local queens such as Noelia Bella and Jasmine Devoux Spaulding. The rest of the week, folks can share small plates, custom pizzas, and telepathic conversations.