The neon glow of televisions and beer signs makes up most of the light inside Hoopsters Sports Bar & Grill. The space has sheltered diners from the light of day since 1994, keeping the bar dimmed to movie-theater levels to help diners enjoy the technicolor action of their favorite sports teams. When televised competition fails to entertain, the staff instead augments their selection of burgers and sandwiches with Tuesday-night trivia contests, Friday-night karaoke, and Saturday-night DJ-driven dance parties. Sunday even has a special designation as the staff flips over all channels to view NASCAR contests and speaks only in motor sounds.
Louisville’s own Courier-Journal likens the coziness of J. Harrod’s Restaurant to that of an “old-school suburban sanctuary”—an apt description, though the upscale eatery sidesteps clichéd décor for an elegant dining room that refuses to pander to nostalgia. Like the green plaid wallpaper and other subtle touches of décor, chef Jenny Ballard’s menu reflects a refined simplicity with its comforting dishes of boneless fried chicken, center-cut pork chops, and veal marsala. The kitchen’s five house-made dressings spruce up salads with recipes that represent America’s diverse culinary traditions, from a zesty peppercorn ranch to a dressing that boasts ingredients from each of our country’s 1,000 island territories. Waiters whisk dishes from the kitchen to large tables, whose polished surfaces are illuminated by the glow that emanates from a wood-paneled fireplace.
Counter seats run along the kitchen at Mariann's Restaurant, allowing their occupants to nurse cups of coffee while watching the kitchen crew fill orders from handwritten tickets. Since 1969, the classic diner has put on its coffee pots at 6 a.m. and warmed breakfast plates such as biscuits and gravy or rib-eye steak and eggs. As the day goes on, the Mariann crew prepares housemade soups to accompany sandwiches during the lunch rush, as well as dinner plates such as center-cut pork chops, certified Angus steaks, and southern fried chicken. In lieu of an animatronic Johnny Carson, Mariann's Restaurant prepares fresh-baked blackberry and peach cobbler as the ideal accompaniment to late-night discussions in a springy booth.
Whether you like your pizza basic or "EPIC!"?a specialty pie with epic layers of meats and veggies?The Red Star Pizza Company has it. Along with a variety of build-your-own and specialty pizzas, the eatery offers hot sandwiches, breadsticks and cheesesticks, plus salads to silence your healthier alter-ego residing in the back of your brain.