A group of ESPN analysts looking for a bite to eat before taping their shouting match would do well to wander through Tripper's. Upon entering, they could brush up on fodder for their next debate by watching the eatery's 50 televisions flicker with heart-pumping sporting events from across the globe, from college football and Australian rugby to playoff baseball and amateur yak tickling.
Though they might posit a PTI-worthy opinion or two of their own, the sports fans who flock to Tripper's share two universal traits: a love of Michigan sports teams and a craving for classic pub eats. They keep their morale and energy high by devouring custom pizzas, Angus burgers, and homemade, seasoned potato chips in between whistles. Glasses of craft beer from Arcadia and Bells rise and clink amidst a wall of roaring cheers, celebrating touchdowns, game-winning goals, and home runs that make the ball shriek like Roger Daltrey. For those unsatisfied with letting others doing their competing for them, Tripper's has a collection of pool and foosball tables and arcade games. Tripper's chefs also sate classic American cravings at on-location parties with their catering and menu-planning services.
Landmarks of standup for decades, Connxtions Comedy Clubs remain mainstays for up-and-coming comics and national stars, with a roster of past performers that includes Sinbad, Drew Carey, Tim Allen, D. L. Hughley, and Rob Schneider. Headlining comedians, many seen on national television, keep the venues teetering Thursday–Saturday nights, whereas Wednesday nights host improv spectacles and open mics where rookies can begin their ascent into stardom or descent into miming. While refueling chuckle tanks, duos and groups can split a savory appetizer, such as cheese bread or chicken wings, or enjoy a potent cocktail at the bar.
Athletic aficionados soak in sporty showings on more than 20 TVs at the casual downtown eatery with a menu of tasty American eats. Slide into a stadium of starters, such as potato skins ($6.99) and spicy crab bits peppered with pops of jalapeños ($6.99), or down a spinach and artichoke dough disk, a pizza sporting the cheesy appetizer in lieu of sauce ($11.99). An all-star team of burger slingers catapult a multitude of choices, such as the Santa Fe burger bolstered by tangy chipotle mayo, the salami- and feta-fraught mediterranean burger, and the salmon burger, all served with fries ($8.99 each). The innovative grilled chicken alfredo penne ($9.99) and meatball parmesan grinders ($8.99) revamp Italian originals into contemporary American fare, thus infusing noshes with confusing feelings about their ambiguous origins.
Lansing's original sports bar assuages appetites with a broad menu backdropped by big-screen sports and quirky regulars who all play the wacky neighbor in reality's long-running sitcom. Warm up flavor feelers with an appetizer sampler ($8.95) of onion rings, chicken fingers, fried mushrooms, and mozzarella sticks before insulating stomachs against poorly aimed cannonballs with a bacon cheeseburger ($5.75) or chili dog ($4.25). Art's popular homemade deluxe pizza ($15.50–$18.50)—adorned with pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and olives—keeps groups of competitive friends sated between rounds on the bar's shuffleboard, dartboards, and Michigan Lottery machine. Wash down any repast with a massive 32-ounce beer shooper ($4.15), which treats drinkers to the giddy thrill of chugging a fishbowl without the hassle of choking on another miniature castle.
Wild Beaver Saloon's energetic staff dish out classic bar eats, selections from a full bar, and the occasional choreographed bar-top dance. Fun-filled evenings kick off with a slate of thin crust pizza such as pepperoni ($8.99) or three types of cheese ($7.99), while domestic beers ($3.25) sooth heated palates and gasping beer fish. Imported suds ($4.25) present varying tastes of foreign degree, pairing well with home favorites such as a signature chicken quesadilla, a triumvirate of chicken, melted cheese, and red onions ($7.99). Pairs of chili dogs ($5.99) and full racks of smoked ribs ($18.99) challenge hands to stay free of slippery sauces in preparation for games of pool or longest handshake contests.