Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn’t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were “quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,” according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face—that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews—and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front—though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.
Dave Reinitz packed up all his belongings into a motor home, left New York, and began driving across the country because he was bored. When the engine finally blew, he was in Los Angeles, and decided that was where he would stay. As if by providence, Dave immediately took to his newfound city's comedy scene. Eventually, he partnered up with comedian Barbara Holliday for his life's next great adventure—Flappers Comedy Club.
Today, Barbara, whose credits include Naked Gun 33 1/3 and Friends, co-manages the multipurpose club she owns with Dave. A breeding ground for new talent, the venue plays host to standup comics and variety acts, and gives up-and-comers a hand with comedy classes called Flappers University. Many local and rising comedians have tested their standup material at Flappers, and the stage has supported the seasoned weight of stars such as Dave Attell and Jason Alexander. Before, during, or after shows, patrons can fuel their giggle fits with grub from the club's onsite restaurant, including Cajun-spiced burgers, seared ahi, and brick-oven pizzas.
Sardo's pacifies yelping stomachs with a menu of delectably pubbish fare while fostering intradiner friendliness with a suite of entertaining distractions. Guests can feel free to feast eyes on sports-related imagery projected on one of seven large-screen LCD TVs, or donate their pipes to the restaurant’s award-winning karaoke. The appetizer platter, like the feel-good final scenes of cafeteria coming-of-age films, lets its popular chicken tenders go to prom with nerdy yet attractive mozzarella sticks and onion rings ($8). Meanwhile, the lunch menu features a hearty sandwich list ($5.25–$8) and providential pasta possibilities, such as the penne pomodoro, featuring penne rigate tossed with fresh garlic, basil, and extra-virgin olive oil ($6.25). Nocturnal nibblers can nosh nighttime-only entrees, such as fried chicken ($9) and sirloin steak ($14), as well as libations from the ornate, amply stocked bar.
At Tony's Darts Away, all 38 draft beers have one thing in common: they're from California. Tony Yanow, the bar's owner, chose to work with local brewers not only to ensure quality, but also to cut down on the waste associated with shipping. As for the high number of taps, Tony explains his reasoning in a video on his website. "If I have a big selection of beer, it means I can satisfy anybody who comes in. I think that's a really important thing: To give people beer they like, not beer I like." Because they carefully source every brew, Tony and his team can help customers find the best ones to suit their palates. For example, they might tell you that an oatmeal stout is softened by nutty, earthy notes, or that a bock is dark with a strong and malty flavor. The bartenders also know which beers should be guzzled from pint glasses and which savored from snifters. They'll never serve beer in a bottle, however. This practice helps the establishment minimize waste and lets bottles stick to their most important job: storing the Lilliput navy.
Chef Randy St. Clair complements the beer selection with meat and vegan sausages, which he serves on warm, locally baked buns. To continue the all-California theme, St. Clair uses local ingredients whenever possible.
Were it not for the discerning ears of Harvey Kalmenson, the childhood classic All Dogs Go to Heaven and the popular video game Call of Duty might sound much different. Alternatively, under the skillful direction of Cathy Kalmenson, 329 voices lent their vocal talents for the 1992 Emmy nominated television mini-series The Wild West. Those are just a few examples of the Kalmensons' casting prowess in a long list of high-profile clients. The veteran husband and wife duo of voice-casting directors are the team behind Kalmenson & Kalmenson, a casting company that scouts actors for voice-over work (clients include celebrities such as Meryl Streep and Jim Belushi) and teaches the art of inflection at voice-acting classes. The companies also cast for commercials with a résumé that includes casting for the original Budweiser Beer frogs, Frosted Flakes' Tony the Tiger, and the voice of BMW.