Players plugs gamers into a cavalcade of entertaining diversions while fueling competitive spirits with eats and drinks from a menu of pub mainstays. Satisfy pin-busting urges by bowling on one of 12 sleek lanes ($2–$4.75/game per person; $2.50/shoe rental). Each lane sports a massive flat-screen hovering above pins, helping bowlers catch the game while dominating their own opponents. Decamp to Players’ billiards lounge for lessons on trick shots, geometry, or the mating habits of eight-balls staged atop one of the contemporary pool tables ($8–$10/hr.). Players' bar and dining area basks under warm amber lights punctuated by the blue glow of 25 sports-affixed TV screens. Gab with old colleagues about advancements in office pranks over frothy brews (bottle $3.25–$4; draft $3.50–$4.50), goblets of vino ($5+), or one of 10 burgers ($8.99–$10.99). The under-21 set stays occupied in the 8 Ball Lounge, a youth-friendly hideaway packed with shuffleboard tables and sleek seating.
What could be better than a glass of artisanal beer or wine? How about that same glass, plus an expert to curate the experience, and also you have a talking dog? With Artisan Clubs, you can achieve most of that dream. Members of the World of Wine Club will receive select presses from established regions all over the world, and members of Artisan Beers enjoy similarly elite microbrews. And then there's the Pacific Northwest Wine Club, which propagates the varietals specifically from Oregon and Washington.
Baristadors handcrafts coffee drinks, microbrews, bagel sandwiches, and more, whisking them to visitors' taste buds seven days a week. Take in the egg-and-cheese Hen on a Kettleman bagel ($3.95), or top a scuffin—the love child of a scone and a muffin—with peanut butter, homemade jam, and a college scholarship ($2.95). A cup of freshly brewed Stumptown coffee keeps eyes open through soporific conference calls ($2 for 16 oz.), and a Speed Racer—iced coffee with chocolate, caramel, and two shots of espresso—helps sippers scale shopping-mall escalators in a single bound ($4 for 18 oz.). Diners can also spike a scoop of Prince Pückler's ice cream ($2.50) with a splash of espresso ($0.50) or break the world krumping record after downing a 24-ounce Black Bull shake made of espresso ice cream, coffee-bean shavings, and a double shot ($6.50).
When it comes to food and sports, it's hard to think of an area that Lu's Sports Bar & Lounge doesn't have covered. The night's biggest games and cutest team huddles not only flicker across the bar's massive 82-inch flat-screen, but also its eight 52-inch high-definition TVs. Those, in turn, surround Lu's potpourri of gaming stations: pinball machines, air hockey tables, dartboards, pool tables, and a shuffleboard court to top it all off.
Other gaming opportunities, such as video poker machines, await in Lu's lounge, which is equipped with its very own bar backed by more flat-screens. The main screens here, however, are dedicated to karaoke, which takes place every night.
Both bar and lounge stay open until 2:30 a.m. nightly, and accommodate patrons as they savor the mix of Chinese classics and American comfort food that emerges from Lu's kitchen. The menu mixes eastern dishes such as Szechwan shrimp with western staples including wings served dry or tossed in a choice of four sauces.
From humble beginnings as a small but passionate basement brewing operation, Above the Rest Home Brewing has now outgrown three spaces since 1993. Now residing in a 1,500 square-foot commercial store with an adjoining classroom, Above the Rest’s staff guides both rookies and seasoned pros through the steps of not only wine- and beer-brewing, but also soda- and cheese-making as well. Staffers can also guide visitors though the selection of equipment, malts, hops, and yeast, helping them pick out the right combination of ingredients to craft an IPA, porter, or a replica of the beer Santa Claus drinks before fact checking his Naughty/Nice list.
Videogame aficionados unite at Pixel Battles, where Xbox 360s, Wii Us, PlayStation 3s, Kinects, 3D gaming, and a retro room tempt fingers with the newest digital challenges. One of the only video game venues in the area allows players to cozy up to black leather chairs and plasma TV screens to test their skills. Gamers can settle into the latest games with friends on multiple plasma TV screens. In addition to individual gaming, Pixel Battles also hosts themed birthday parties, special events, and tournaments to help gamers battle in healthy competition.