As Tommy, one of Howl at the Moon’s piano players, explains on the club’s website, “Every night…we try and throw a party, regardless of whether it’s a Tuesday night or a Saturday night.” The bar’s trademark dueling pianos serve as the epicenter of these nightly celebrations; patrons submit their favorite songs on slips of paper for the pianists and backing musicians to recreate. If the website’s playlist is any indication, the bands can handle popular songs from all genres and eras, from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” to Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” The performances are spirited: colorful lights splash upon a stage where servers, guests, and chairs that have somehow developed mobility all dance along to the music.
Fueling the celebration is the bar’s indulgent selection of drinks. Servers stand over patrons to plunge jello injectors into their mouths, and revelers grab colorful straws to help drain 86-ounce booze buckets filled with sangria or other fruity libations. Pomegranate liqueur and honey-infused whiskey sweeten specialty cocktails, and local beers add depth to coolers stocked with Stella Artois and Dos Equis.
Movie Tavern transfixes one's taste buds and imagination by blending all-digital cinema with premium seating and sit-down dining. Moviegoers are encouraged to arrive 45 minutes prior to showtime, so that they can leisurely peruse an extensive menu of chef-inspired American cuisine, from kobe beef sliders to pizza and sandwiches. Nimble and unobtrusive servers slip in during the show to deliver orders, and can be called on for more drinks or dessert with the push of a button. At select locations, guests can opt to sip margaritas or signature cocktails at the bar before heading in to see a show. Audiences get to enjoy first-run films every week, retro cinema every Tuesday and Thursday evening, and breakfast food paired with early morning movies on Saturday and Sunday. While geared toward adults, the family-friendly establishment also serves finger food for kiddies along with film-inspired dishes. Guests can head to the bar or straight to the movie without ordering food, giving them some latitude in shaping their night out.
Additionally, Movie Tavern treats audiences to myriad benefits with their membership program. Anyone can sign up for free online to receive one free movie ticket on the spot and one free ticket every year on their birthday, as well as invites to screenings and other special events.
The two-bedroom, newly renovated farmhouse at Blue Heron Vineyards safeguards guests in a rural, picturesque setting amid turn-of-the-century barns and vintage outbuildings. Guests have their choice of enjoying a homemade breakfast in the farmhouse, from the tree house-like deck of the winery, or lakeside while served by a wait staff of bullfrogs trained at L'Ambroisie in Paris. Spend an afternoon casually strolling through the vineyard grounds spread across a high bluff near the Ohio River, or visit the property's large Celtic cross, carved from natural stone over a 23-month period by local sculptor Greg Harris. Visitors calm their outdoors obsessions by fishing and canoeing at the nearby Deer Creek or exploring the Hoosier National Forest along scenic hiking and biking trails teeming with towering trees, wildlife, and ringleted porridge thieves.
Bars are great spots for declaring preemptive thumb war on unsuspecting foes, so you’ll need to stockpile rations for a lengthy campaign. Sidebar’s menu offers plenty of options, including appetizers such as onion straws ($5.95), quesadilla rolls ($5.95), Juan Parnello’s queso dip ($5.95), and Sidebar wings (6 for $4.95, 12 for $8.95). Dig your mouth-shovels into a tasty burger that’s hand-pattied daily with 80/20 Black Angus beef. Burger options include the Soprano (pizza sauce, onion, and two cheese sticks, $7.50), the Devil’s Advocate (spicy ranch sauce, sliced jalapeno, and provolone, $7.25), and the Double Jeopardy (two patties with your choice of cheese, $8.50). Sandwiches such as the Roebling Reuben ($7.95) are also available, as well as 12” pizzas such as buffalo chicken ($9.95) and The Big Bill with onions, peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, Italian sausage, and double cheese ($12.95).
Ensconcing visitors in spacious rooms surrounded by 30 lush acres of grapevines, Elk Creek Vineyards merges the grandeur of Napa Valley with Kentucky hospitality. Among three discrete lodgings, the Estates' wraparound deck sounds the creak of rocking chairs, the Inn's communial living room welcomes late-night conversation, and the Lodge's private decks open up onto vineyard and lake. Live entertainment every Friday and Saturday keeps eardrums occupied, and a gallery exhibits the creations of local artists. During tastings and tours, guests sample the vineyard's products and stroll through the fields, popping grapes to figure out which ones are alcoholic.
Rookies Sports Bar serves an array of steaks and American fare, boasting an eclectic menu that spans a wealth of tasty territory from pastas and seafood to sandwiches and steaks. Hang a fang on a 12 oz. New York strip steak ($19.99), or the 10 oz. hawaiian-marinated sirloin ($15.99). Chomp down a home-style catfish sandwich ($8.99) or savor the half-pound, Angus beef All-American burger ($7.49). With 27 televisions lighting up the dining space, and pool tables providing an opportunity to woo on-looking admirers with the seductive power of geometry, Rookies Sports Bar stands as a suitable place for after-hours sports spectators and families alike. Recently, the restaurant was the recipient of the Heart of Henderson award, which honors those who give back to the community.