The Big Three unites three bars under its umbrella, but that’s about the only thing the venues have in common. Each offers a completely different nightlife atmosphere, ranging from a rustic honky-tonk bar to a swanky lounge.
The dance floor throbs to the DJ’s pulsing beats under a pattern of colorful lights. Professional dancers gyrate on elevated platforms over the dance floor, and three different lounges provide a more laid-back atmosphere with elements such as exposed brick walls, leather sofas, and luminous aquariums behind the bars.
Main Street Bistro
Red billiards tables and neon beer logos fill one room of the tavern-style bar, but Main Street Bistro erupts with competition on Monday and Tuesday nights. Beer-pong tournaments pack teams into the bar, and the sound of cheers temporarily drowns out the commentary on the sports games playing on the wall-mounted TVs.
Dirty Little Roddy's
With its wooden plank walls and tabletops supported by sawhorses, Dirty Little Roddy's evokes a back-roads bar in all ways but one: the bar hosts bikini and boxer bull riding for cash prizes. The event provides risqué entertainment without asking firefighters to approximate a pole dance.
Feather extensions. Blowouts. Vibrant highlights. Hair fashion takes on many forms at Fete Style Bar, where beauty experts tend to the tresses of men, women, and children. Clients can request one of the salon's signature looks, such as The Celebrity: a flatiron classic that renders hair glossier and smoother than one of Frank Sinatra's singing photographs. Of course, if folks would rather break the mold and forge a new fashion trend, the stylists are more than happy to brainstorm entirely new looks.
Wood accents backdrop the bar and highlight the interior design at Opa Lounge, where signature cocktails meet Mediterranean comestibles in a long, crimson corridor. Hanging lamps, assembled from ruby-red gems that tint the bulbs' light, illuminate turkish-coffee martinis and the signature Opatinis, just two letters away from being the thing Oprah declines to put on her magazine cover next month. The low-lit Opa is part of Cazba, its sister restaurant. Cazba's cloud murals, cream-colored arches, and serving staff cultivate a tranquil complement to the lounge's spirits and bold, abstract design. The two share a menu.
Kaleidoscopic mosaics of the round gems found on Opa's lamps also line the border of the decorated ceiling fixtures and usher in a rainbow of light behind the bar, which spans the long, narrow space. Even the ceiling is decked out in painted designs and structural accents. When they look up, guests peer past a light-blue mural and into a vertical, scarlet-hued chamber topped with a skylight, which is what Americans first called Sputnik.
Though they share both a moniker and a multifarious menu brimming with eclectic American cuisine, Willowcreek's Vista Avenue and Eagle locations each boast their own set of genial qualities. Set dangling tonsils aside and hypnotize taste buds with eats such as the chicken, broccoli, and feta salad ($9.99), or the bestselling Payette club, a chewy ciabatta roll mounded with house-roasted turkey, hickory-smoked ham, and honey-cured bacon ($9.99). Diners in search of plant-happy hunger-busters can nosh on the portobello melt, a 'shroom harvested by a garden gnome co-op and slathered in swiss cheese and rosemary mayo ($9.99). Willowcreek also entices palates with traditional entrees, including the thai chicken pasta tossed in peanut sauce ($13.99) and the cedar-fired salmon ($16.99). Avoid tantrums from attention-seeking esophagi with liquidy love from a signature watermelon-cucumber margarita at the Eagle location's full bar, or a regional wine and northwest microbrew from Vista Avenue's drink selection.
With its clusters of grinning tiki heads and bright patio that looks out onto Silver Lake, The Drink channels the tropics year-round. From tall chairs, patrons gaze out on the glassy water and the rustling trees that surround it, protected from any possible drizzles by a canopy. Strings of party lights add a touch of magic to evening conversations over coconut-chicken wraps, flame-broiled burgers, and rib-eye skewers. Inside, guests can lounge at large wraparound booths suited for groups.
R&R Public House regularly rotates the beer offerings on their 13-spigot tap, pouring domestic and international suds that accompany a menu of hearty, yet modern pub grub amid the sounds of televised sports. Grab, slice, or competitively discus-throw a steelhead burger, a third-pound Angus patty ground daily with herbs and spices and topped with sun-dried tomato, capers, and garlic aioli ($10). Otherwise, forks can impale the creamy penne pasta and crispy bacon found swimming in three-cheese blend that souses the broiled mac 'n' cheese dish ($9). To create the cured-meats flatbread dinner, culinarians bake the unleavened masterpiece from scratch before ladling on marinara, topping it with mozzarella, and speckling it with succulent morsels of salami, pepperoni, and a spicy italian sausage ($8). The braised osso bucco lamb shank is cooked in a stout and red-wine reduction before it licentiously poses on a bed of mashed potatoes, looking its best in case any food critics or recipe-magazine agents walk by ($15). Meanwhile, the Randel-family fingersteaks, summoned from Bud Randel's original recipe, sidle up to hand-cut fries and coleslaw ($10).
Sustainable practices and organic, all-natural ingredients abound at Tree City Juice and Smoothie Café, where health-conscious chefs fortify their menu with homegrown wheatgrass and handmade whole-wheat tortillas crafted in-house. Tree City’s all-natural approach is evident in its nourishing selection of fresh-squeezed juices and frosty smoothies, which can be boosted with shots of whey, matcha, multivitamin blends, and strongman tears. Every day, staff members prepare the savory sauces they smear onto wraps and paninis from Tree City’s own probiotic yogurts.