When Michael Tobins opened The Marathon Restaurant at North Pond, he told the MetroWest Daily News that he and his wife, Megan, "wanted to open a restaurant in [their] hometown and offer something Hopkinton needs—something that has a wide spectrum." Now, whether diners are looking for a casual family lunch or an upscale steak dinner, they can find it in one of The Marathon Restaurant’s three separate areas: the fancier downstairs space, the more casual upstairs room, or the bar.
In the kitchen, chefs whip up entrees such as house-marinated sirloin tips, beer-battered haddock, and steak and wild mushroom ravioli lavished with mushroom brandy cream sauce. Those seeking a more laid-back feast can dive into sandwiches, including lobster clubs stacked with applewood bacon, or load build-your-own burgers with gruyère, guacamole, barbecue pulled pork, or sauerkraut. Meanwhile, at the bar, servers tap draft brews and pour wine for diners to savor with their meals or gargle with afterward.
Housed in a multisport training facility, Milford Sports Center's cadre of professional coaches oversees fitness classes and practice spaces to help athletes groom their games of golf, baseball, and softball. Former Boston Red Sox catcher and two-time MLB All-Star Rich Gedman headlines the Center’s baseball program, which encompasses private and semiprivate lessons and an annual summer camp that teaches little leaguers the basics of hitting, base running, defense, and seed spitting. For more independent training, hitters can crack line drives in the Center’s 11 batting cages, which offer both softball- and baseball-pitching machines.
Piercing drives echo from the Center’s indoor golf-training facilities, where players hone their swings away from the threat of inclement weather or flash-mobbing water hazards. The Full Swing Golf simulator lets clubbers seek out pars on digital replicas of 64 world-famous courses, including Pebble Beach, Bay Harbor, and the Old Course at St. Andrews. Fitness trainers also guide guests through a circuit of up-tempo, rhythmic exercises in Zumba classes.
Most chefs tend to specialize in a particular cuisine, such as Italian or sushi. Prezo Grille & Bar's executive chef, Tim Vaillette, however, prefers to specialize in a little bit of everything. His main menu runs the gamut from classic American burgers to Barcelona-style swordfish served with rice pilaf. He also draws inspiration from Italy, topping the house-made dough of his thin-crust pizzas with ingredients such as buffalo mozzarella, ricotta, meatballs, and caramelized onions. Tim even dabbles in sushi, preparing specialty rolls such as the bad boy maki, which he coils with spicy salmon, avocado, and spicy mayo before serving it atop a revving motorcycle. To complement Tim's far-reaching menu, Prezo's bartenders serve an extensive selection of cocktails and craft beer, as well as more than 20 wines by the glass and 50 by the bottle.
Feasts unfold in Prezo's upscale, romantically lit dining room or in its similarly lit bar, where four plasma televisions stay tuned to the latest sports game.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's Gym members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Past a barber-pole-bedecked exterior, the two-man staff of Old Time Barber Shop delivers straight-razor shaves and crafts modern haircuts using classic clipping techniques. Master barber Scott Braga creates personalized looks for each customer, ranging from straightforward trims and close-cropped cuts to elaborate ocelot topiary. In straight-razor shaves, Braga or stylist Stephen Guillian render skin hair-free and baby smooth with 20 minutes of careful hair removal supplemented with hot-towel treatments. The stylists bring experience and expertise to each cut, working through stray strands with ease in an old-timey environment complete with large leather chairs, full-length mirrors, and a barbershop quartet harmonizing hymns to comb disinfectant.
Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.