After dinner, Liquid undergoes a transformation. While diners are finishing up hearty pulled-pork sandwiches and fried pickles, a DJ steps into a booth. A switch is flipped, and multicolored lights shimmer across the low-lit interior as house music thunders from the speakers. The crowd goes wild.
Part restaurant, part bar, and part nightclub, Liquid spans three rooms, from a large dance floor to rows of tables and booths. Servers whisk bar-friendly eats to revelers until 1a.m., from spicy chicken wings to summer salads.
As the doors of Skybar Lounge’s wood-paneled elevator slide open, customers are immersed in a sleek atmosphere enlivened by driving bass beats and the icy rattle of the bartenders' shakers as they prepare 25 signature martinis. Moroccan-style lamps cast a warm glow over patrons sharing tapas plates of prime beef sky sliders and calamari with house sweet chili sauce in between enjoying panoramic views of the city skyline, flickering streetlights, and nannies flying back to England.
At Centaur, the martini is monarch. The menu of seasonally changing cocktails ($9 each, $5 during happy hour) leaves no taste unexplored. The toasted-almond martini swizzles together vanilla, almonds, cocoa, and cinnamon, while the Detroiter uses hometown-hero Vernors ginger ale with splashes of vanilla vodka and spiced rum. Secret agents on the lam after a botched attempt to blow up a supervillain's volcano lair can unwind with the .007 martini's mix of vodka, gin, strawberry, and basil while awaiting further instructions from contacts "Hansel and Gretel," who are enjoying a gingerbread-flavored martini at the other end of the bar. In addition to an extensive selection of beers and wines, Centaur also offers a menu of gourmet small plates for stomachs not quite satisfied by toothpicked olives. Try an ounce of Sevruga caviar ($50), Maryland crab cakes with lobster cream sauce ($10), or three gourmet mini-burgers ($6).
CoolCleveland.com credits new owners Joe Pavlick, his wife, Emily Pavlick, his sister-in-law, Kelly Flamos, and Kelly's husband, Colin McEwen, with restoring Mahall's 20 Lanes to its former glory. All Ohio natives, they swooped in and resurrected the once flourishing alley with a fresh infusion of flair. In addition to an expanse of 20 lanes that sparkle between exposed-brick walls, they also refurbished two bars, a dining area, a stage for musical acts with "Mahall's" emblazoned in the background, and pool tables. Locals crowd around tables in the restaurant, chugging brews and chowing down on elote, a grilled ear of corn rubbed with spices. The walls flaunt a mural obscured for years by wallpaper, which Joe and Kelly uncovered during the restoration process. In the lanes, the old-timey method of manual scoring helps the alley maintain its vintage aura and makes automatic counters obsolete.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
To keep the spirit of its musical roots ever near, House of Blues Houston keeps a metal box of mud from the Delta Mississippi beneath its stage and proudly displays the traditional crazy quilt. As the only venue in the revered chain to be built vertically rather than free floating, House of Blues Houston stands as a pillar of entertainment in the Houston Pavilions complex. The hot spot’s Bronze Peacock Room commemorates Houston's rich history and the blues clubs where Lightnin' Hopkins and Big Mama Thornton held sway, and features an enormous hand-painted mural depicting other local legends such as Albert Collins and Johnny "Guitar" Watson.