A ceiling of mirrors. A small bouquet of flowers at each table. A breezy, outdoor patio festooned with white trellises and hanging foliage. The decorative accents at the newly redesigned Effie’s Restaurant and Lounge set a handsome backdrop for refined, contemporary American cuisine. In the kitchen, multitalented chefs craft hearty entrees for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—all while juggling wooden mixing spoons. Their culinary repertoire covers everything from brawny burgers topped with mushrooms to sole filets bathing in lemon butter. Effie’s bar and lounge area, meanwhile, morphs into a lively neighborhood hot spot where regulars wet their whistles for karaoke night with sips of beer, specialty cocktails, or wine from Effie’s extensive, five-page drink menu.
Homestead Bowl welcomes friends and families to hurl balls down 32 glistening lanes equipped with electronic scoring and gutter returns. A medley of drafts and bottled brews such as Pabst Blue Ribbon, Newcastle, and Guinness stock shelves in The X Bar, a full-service sports bar where bowlers can celebrate strikes with live music and Friday-night karaoke. The bar also tends to college nostalgia with beer pong and weekly billiards tournaments.
From its origins in the 1860s as a house of ill repute to its time as a legally dubious watering hole during prohibition, The River City Saloon has deep roots in the seedy history of American nightlife. Today however, the saloon blends an old-timey aesthetic with more family-friendly fare. Kids can saunter up to the bar—a vintage 1905 triple-arch Brunswick—and order a glass of old west sarsaparilla, brewed locally at River City Brewing Company. Peanuts are also available, and visitors are welcome to throw the shells on the floor, in homage to the days when saloons had dirt floors and rampant elephant infestations.
The saloon's pub food is cooked with a hot-air fryer, a grease-free alternative to a deep fryer, and its hoagie sandwiches are served alongside chips and pickle spears. On the weekends, karaoke and music videos make old-west cowboys thankful that Bieber fever has a much lower casualty rate than yellow fever once did.
Every evening at El Corazón is a different experience. Although the downtown venue is best known for its rock ‘n’ roll attitude, its calendar presents a genre-defying variety including comedy shows and punk, electroclash, postrock, and postman rock concerts. The majority of their shows are all ages, with a special bar area for the 21-and-up crowds.