At Little Mexico Cafe, corn and flour tortillas enfold steak, chicken, and vegetables to create traditional Mexican fajitas, enchiladas, and chimichangas. Homemade sauces slather cheese-laden creations spiced up with jalapeños and racy limericks, and chefs also charter a course toward sautéed, grilled, or stuffed jumbo shrimp. The two-story restaurant showcases bright Aztec-themed murals by artist Roli Mancera, and banners of papel picado flutter overhead in the sunny, yellow upstairs dining room. After a devastating fire in 2008 that burned the original Little Mexico Cafe to the ground, resilient restaurateurs Enrique and Consuelo Ayala rebuilt the eatery for a 2010 reopening, where the community revelry was covered by The Grand Rapids Press.
Friends Matt Roy and Trevor Thrall were headed north on I-75 in their Jeep for a weekend of snowmobiling when the snow decided to stop them in their tracks. As they waited for the weather to clear, the pair discussed their stock of European and Midwest microbrews, and quickly realized their home state, Michigan, wasn't represented. They vowed to right that wrong, and the idea for Wolverine State Brewing Co. was born. The friends soon brewed their first beer, which they dubbed Wolverine Premium Lager, a brew to honor their state and the carnivorous mammals that secretly control its government. Within a few years, they had established their brick and mortar location—a dedicated brewery and taproom.
Today, local brewer Oliver Roberts helps to oversee the brewery, which only brews lagers—which range from ambers, IPLs, and imperial darks to pilsners and unique seasonals. Wolverine is also defined by its image, cultivated with the help of the Beer Wench—the traveling, blogging identity of friend E.T. Crowe—and the edgy label art of longtime partner Brian Walline. All these elements come together in the brewery's tasting room, where visitors can sample brews at a 40-foot L-shaped bar before playing darts and foosball.
Elektricity Nightclub is many things, but never boring. Every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the club fills with as many as a thousand club-goers ready to dance the night away to a cutting-edge artist while sipping artfully-crafted cocktails. Under the sway of DJs such as Cedric Gervais, Major Lazer, Laidback Luke, or Tritonal, the crowd becomes a pulsating mass of revelry. On Sunday nights, the club hosts Glo-Out parties where dancers wear black light-sensitive apparel, and on Saturdays, the fire-artists of the Elektric Circus dazzle with a back-up troupe of belly dancers, stilt-walkers, and aerialists.
Set among table games, large screens, and a dance floor, The Riv keeps patrons well-fueled for carousal thanks to a straightforward menu of tried-and-true pub platters. Guests predisposed to gnawing museum artifacts can recover by munching buffalo wings ($6.99) and nachos ($7.99); larger appetites are well-served by burgers such as the rodeo burger, lassoed together with barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, and onion rings ($5.99). Meanwhile, the friendly staff behind the full-service bar serves up cocktails and beer, ably fueling competitive spirits at three pool tables, darts, and arcade games. Feel free to keep up with athletic combat and jersey fashions on any of the three large-screen TVs, or unshackle feet on the dance floor thanks to the rousing beats of the live guest and house DJs.
Holiday Inn Express Birmingham Hotel recharges weary travelers with clean and comfortable accommodations that include complimentary breakfast and access to an onsite fitness center. With the Valentine's Day package—which can be redeemed any night between February 10 and February 19—couples get to spend a night together free from the distractions of in-laws and Law & Order reruns. Rooms come stocked with Valentine's essentials, a bottle of bubbly and a box of chocolates. Guests who book a room on any night will enjoy amenities including free WiFi, access to the 24-hour fitness center, and breakfast of coffee, biscuits, and cinnamon rolls.
The father-and-son team of Steve and Jason Jenkins took on a big task when they decided to turn an old bar on the northwest side into a friendly neighborhood beer-and-burger sports joint. A laid-back crowd now shares laughs over burgers and cold brews at The Pubb seven days a week.
The menu incites stomachs to rumble with its spread of American pub food, from fried pickles and crisp BLTs to meaty Double Pubble burgers, stacked with two third-pound beef patties. During their extensive remodeling job, the owners installed six big-screen TVs and a slightly brighter, more welcoming lighting setup. The Pubb also entertains with keno and shuffleboard.