The Midwest Rock-n-Roll Express smuggles arena legends Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Ted Nugent into the Mid-America Center with an inestimable cargo of sing-along classics. Styx has sparked the third rail since 1972 with prog-rock sensationalism, bolstering lighter-fluid epics such as "Come Sail Away" and "Babe" with complex riffs from crystalline synthesizers intertwined with power-chord crescendos and noodling from guitar giant Tommy Shaw. With founding frontman and falsetto specialist Kevin Cronin at the helm, fellow Prairie State juggernaut REO Speedwagon fills the stage with passionate chartbusters that made waterbed salesmen rich, from romantic ballads such as “Keep On Loving You" to the spurned-lover kiss-off "Take It on the Run." Kicking off the show, "Motor City Madman" and expert game hunter Ted Nugent revs his buzzsaw guitar through classics such as "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Stranglehold," all while protecting the audience from wild boars.
Since opening in 2002, the course at Legacy Golf Club has collected a litany of regional and national awards thanks to an ingenious layout envisioned by Jeffrey D. Brauer, who claims a ranking in Golf Inc.’s 2010 list of the world’s highest-value course architects. Each player that tees up on the first hole peers into the abyss of Mr. Brauer’s delicate design, relying on precise control to avoid the Kentucky bluegrass roughs and water hazards that come into play on 14 holes¬—including all 9 on the back side. Those who succeed enjoy luxuriant lies on the bentgrass fairways, and earn the best chance of shooting the par of 72, not counting the illegal practice of using the club as a baseball bat. En route, they must slay the par 4 2nd hole, a downhill screamer with a dramatic approach over a 5-acre lake, as well as the par 3 14th and 17th holes, where matters are complicated by swirling winds. Before hanging up their golf gloves for the day, players must clear a final high hurdle in the 611-yard par 5 18th hole, where a large amphitheater-style green funnels well-placed approaches and echoes shouts of “Fore!”
Class A PGA Professional Rob Randall heads up Legacy Golf Club’s golf school, having claimed much recognition for his instructional prowess. He brings expertise earned over more than 20 years and some 20,000 golf lessons to his lessons at the practice facility, where bentgrass tees, six target greens, and TaylorMade practice balls lend veracity to practicing swings and juggling-based intimidation tactics.
Course at a Glance:
Inside the historic, renovated Waverly Palace Theatre, first-run releases splash across three screens as guests gobble snacks from the concession stand. Seats equipped with lumbar support prop up weary backs as the sounds of screeching tires, exploding fortresses, and wisecracking babies escape from the speakers of a Dolby Surround Sound EX system. As guests exit, they can take in the brick exterior of the theater, which maintains its classic, glowing marquee and art-deco façade.
Barley’s builds culinary character by guiding its delicious menu of traditional burger and steak fare through a series of exhausting yet rewarding victual rituals. Start with homemade flour chips ($5.95) with cheddar cheese and salsa as a way of making peace with growling stomach Gorgons. Equip both fists with a smokehouse burger (with cheddar, barbecue sauce, and bacon, $7.95) and a guacamole burger ($8.45), or contemplate the trinity of a triple club ($7.95) served with ham, turkey, bacon, and more between two slabs of marble rye. There are also a number of options for the vegetarian crowd, including the garden burger ($7.95) and garden Philly ($7.75), each stocked with 100% vegan patties. In between bites of burgers, steaks, and salads, sip on some fresh-squeezed ales and lagers from the bottle or tap, with varieties spanning the intoxicating rainbow from micro and macro brews.
Jo's Roadhouse’s chefs serve a menu of colossal burgers, hand-cut steaks, and hearty sandwiches inside the comfortable confines of its deep-red and brown walls, adorned with racing memorabilia. A choice of seven savory sauces such as teriyaki, sweet barbecue, or hot buffalo slicks down a dozen traditional wings ($7.99) like chocolate ganache slicks down a pastry chef’s slip 'n’ slide. Entrees include a hand-cut, 12-ounce new york strip steak ($13.99), and breaded North Atlantic cod, gripped by a tenacious french roll and served with homemade tartar sauce ($8.49). The spicy Cajun burger weighs down wayward taste buds with a half pound of meat and hefty slabs of pepper jack cheese ($8.99). On select nights, one corner of the bustling biker bar hosts live musicians, who entertain the crowd with high-spirited tunes and tales of tooth-fairy visits set to “Born to be Wild.”
Prairie Crossing Vineyards’ 3 acres of grapevines are nestled among beautiful farmlands, producing nine distinctive wines for palates of all sophistications. During the complimentary tasting, an expert vintner will lead taste buds through a choice of five wines, possibly including the Wagon Trail Red, a smooth quaff, or the Cardinal Red, a semidry wine that blends grapes with magic and the dreams of pixies. White wine aficionados will appreciate the Windswept White, which bursts with citrus and stone-fruit flavors.