At Sam's Hudson Beach Bar & Restaurant, grill masters serve up a menu of fresh seafood and tasty burgers among tropical adornments and breathtaking sunsets. Starters compose a palatable prelude to beachside meals, with fried green tomatoes ($5.95) basking in the tangy splendor of their unripe youth and plates of lightly breaded gator ($8.95) gripping hunger pangs in their jaws and dragging them into a pool of dipping sauces. Entrees of beer-battered fish and chips tastefully combine libations and edibles ($10.95), and a marinated Island Grilled Chicken Sammy ($8.95) enraptures taste buds with a tropical garnish of pineapple, slaw, black beans, and rice. Meanwhile, beefy fare takes the form of the Paradise burger ($7.95), in which a half-pound of Angus stacks atop garden fixings to fill mouths and create ketchup mustaches.
Popular globetrotting pop collective Architecture in Helsinki transforms Crowbar into a throbbing, futuristic discotheque as its latest tour storms American shores. Formed in Melbourne, the ambidextrous dance band stirs fans with a tornado of flamboyant sounds, infectious anthems, and commitment-free instrument swapping. With hits such as “Do the Whirlwind” and latest single “Contact High,” lead crooner Cameron Bird and his cakewalking team of tunesmiths tickle ear bones and rehabilitate ankles in support of its latest album, Moment Bends. During the kaleidoscopic performance, the band seduces dance floors with 10-foot hooks and sounds culled from hypnotic synths, romantic glockenspiels, and strummed chest hairs. Filling out the bill, Swedish dance wizards Lo-Fi-Fnk enchant with instant club hits and songs for strobe-light campfires, and pop enthusiasts Dom charm with stargazing Casios. Crowbar invites Groupon holders backstage after the show to meet the band, discuss musical influences, and take notes on how to hit the elusive high Z note.
Though entertainment fads come and go, movie theaters remain, tempting audiences with fantastical stories new and old. The film buffs behind the Tampa Pitcher Show understand this craving for narrative connection, filling their movie hall and bar space’s calendar with first-run films, alternative events, and live music that helped them take home the prize for Best Kept Secret in Creative Loafing's Best of the Bay 2011 Reader’s Poll. Within the theater, projectors hum to life with current hits and cult classics every night; weekends welcome special happenings that include Rocky Horror Picture Show shadow-casts, art bazaars, and comedy shows. The Take 2 Lounge dispenses a sprawling menu of bar fare, including burgers, pizzas, and beers such as Magic Hat #9, Southern Tier, and Florida Avenue Ale flowing from 13 tap lines.
The Show Palace Dinner Theatre piles plates high with cuisine from an endless buffet and salad bar while also sating cravings for entertainment. Their productions range from musical revues such as Swing! and New York Nights to more traditional musicals like The Sound of Music. Prior to the show, audiences mingle at a brief cocktail reception before taking their seats at linen-draped tables. A spread of comfort food fills stomachs with the fuel necessary to give a standing ovation, shout for encores, and scream at pet falcons to get down from the rafters.
Chillounge Night moves the atmosphere of a nightclub outdoors, freeing warm pulses of bass to tremble under the stars and roll beneath the chatter of guests perched on plush sofas. Toasts are made, adding treble notes to the organic symphony as the sun sinks below the horizon and the atmosphere takes on the festive feeling. Samba dancers parade past tables laden with signature dishes from local restaurants, and fashion shows parade intriguing threads. As fireworks crackle against the darkening sky at some events, live music begins to fuel dancing or make metronomes feel more comfortable.