Michael's Bar & Grill is all about big TVs, lively crowds, classic eats, and craft beers on tap. Each night, the friendly neighborhood tavern kicks out food and libations to an unpretentious crowd that mingles amid its dark wood paneling, glass dividers, and hanging lamps. The menu leans toward classic crowd pleasers such as wings, half-pound Angus burgers, and prime rib platters that are as filling as the beer is cold. There's the selection at the bar, where beers on tap come from everywhere good beer is brewed or plucked frown the ground, like Alaskan Brewing Co. and local Latitude 42 brewery. After dining, a pool table adds more fun to the mix and an outdoor patio hosts live musicians.
The gastro alchemists running Bumpers Bar and Grill cleverly mix their massive menu and full bar with live music and a nightclub atmosphere to create unforgettable evenings, even if the specifics are a bit fuzzy. The kitchen turns out a slew of pub-fare staples with Bumpers flair, such as burgers layered alternately with mushrooms and melted swiss ($6.75) or Five Alarm patties topped with pepper jack, jalapeños, hot sauce, and two heat-activated motion detectors ($6.50). Twelve-inch pizzas and calzones ($5.50 each) make an idea meal for sharing or smuggling pepperoni across state lines, respectively, and snackers looking for a light but filling bite can daintily devour mini tacos ($4.25), breaded mushrooms ($4.75), and loaded potato skins ($5.50) with a choice of dressing.
The sudden clatter of a billiards break. The quick shuffling of cards. A pinball machine's clanging bells. All can be heard at The Velvet Rail, where everything from regulation-size felt-topped tables to foosball and air hockey keep patrons of all ages entertained. As a digital jukebox pumps out tunes, snacks such as hot dogs, nachos, and hummus fuel games of snooker or pool, and free WiFi allows players to post online personal ads for "eight ball seeks corner pocket."
• For $16, you get two dinner-and-a-show packages for a Wednesday performance (a $32 value). • For $20, you get two dinner-and-a-show packages for a Thursday performance (a $40 value). • For $27, you get two dinner-and-a-show packages for a Friday or Saturday performance (a $54 value).
The clink of whiskey glasses, the upbeat strains of fiddles, and the mouthwatering aroma of braised lamb shank: these are the sights, sounds, and smells that envelop the senses at Claddagh Irish Pub. The lively eatery sates stomachs with a menu of traditional dishes, such as shepherd’s pie, and those with modern twists, such as the fish accompanied by fresh mango salsa or cilantro-lime rice. The chefs try to use seasonal ingredients and keep tongues from getting bored by changing their offerings twice a year and hiding firecrackers in the desserts.
Diners swig a variety of Irish beer and whiskey and sip more than a dozen wines surrounded by dark wood accents and stone walls that evoke the Emerald Isle. A slew of events entertain ears, including traditional Irish music jams on Sunday evenings and trivia on Wednesday nights.
When ordering a burger, it's important to know how you want it cooked. At Top This Bar and Grille, it's also important to know how tall you want it. That's because customers can load their USDA Angus beef patties with more than 30 toppings, including uncommon burger ingredients such as shrimp and roast beef. Once their towering burger is built and equipped with a suitable foundation, diners can pair it with a side of baked potatoes, french fries, or potato skins, which are all made from Michigan potatoes. There's plenty of other things to do in addition to grabbing a bite, though. The establishment, which is open until 2 a.m., also hosts karaoke on Tuesday nights, Ladies' Night on Wednesdays with free mechanical bull rides, and serves specialty drinks from a full bar.