The crackle of a grill and the gentle purr of beer spilling into a pint are very soothing sounds. That gleeful noise serves as a constant backdrop at The Peddler’s Daughter, punctuated occasionally by live rock or Irish music and pub trivia. The menu is varied, but everything orbits around the dishes you might find in the Irish countryside. Beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips nestle alongside shepherd’s pies filled with beef and veggies like the briefcase of someone who is only pretending to be an accountant. Burgers—topped with Guinness blue cheese påte, aged cheddar, or housemade hot sauce—vie for attention against the likes of bangers and mash. On the bar, light cuts through glasses of ruddy Newcastle, Old Speckled Hen, and Guinness.
In 1880, Justin P. White created candlepin bowling because he felt that traditional bowling wasn't challenging enough. Today, Leda Lanes continues this East Coast tradition, where bowlers clutch softball-sized balls before sending them down the lane toward tall, thin pins. Though the game is a throwback, the staff keeps things modern with state-of-the-art scoring systems at each lane. A concession stand provides snacks, while Kegler's Den Lounge provides libations to keep bowlers going till the next string.
Maxamillians Billiards and Sports Bar allows cue gurus to battle it out in a 9,000-square-foot colorful-orb haven. With 14 regulation-size Connelly Ultimate tables, Maxamillians invites chalk jockeys to prove their angle-judging prowess or to illustrate the tricky tenets of Newton's 16th Law of Motion. Balls collide in a cavernous brick-lined room in the 9,000-square-foot bar, leaving plenty of room between tables. An 80-foot bar keeps throats wet, and the Boston Pizza Company dishes brick-oven pies to pool sharks.
The original owner of the picturesque two-story house—a daffodil-hued farmhouse with hunter-green shutters and a matching front door—invited guests into his makeshift tavern for a bowl of porridge and a nap at 12 cents a pop. More than 220 years later, the house in Bristol still entertains a revolving door of guests as The Homestead Restaurant. Inside, a brick fireplace radiates warmth across tables scattered with teriyaki-glazed steaks and alaskan king-crab legs dipped in drawn butter. The chefs also swaddle meatloaf wellington in a puff-pastry shell, and peppercorns burst sharply across sirloin with brandy and cream sauce. A dedicated gluten-free menu caters to diners with health issues or a tendency to remember the terrifying dinner-roll scene in Jaws.
A second location of The Homestead Restaurant in Merrimack is just as inviting inside with exposed wooden beams, an antlered chandelier, and a second-floor bar affording a perfect eagle’s-eye view of the tables below.
Chunky's Cinema Pub has been mixing the polished glimmer of modern technology with the gauzy glow of yesteryear for almost two decades. Eight screens mingle first-run blockbusters with themed throwback classics catering to children of the ’50s or ’80s. There, in the glow of the previews, is another testament to the melding of time—a contemporary dinner-and-a-movie setup brings with it the nostalgia of old-school drive-ins. Instead of traditional cinema chairs, individual cushy Lincoln Continental surround communal dinner tables, and the seats roll and recline to let guests maximize their comfort and customize their sightlines as they catch the onscreen action and pretend to be backseat drivers. At their tables, American pub snacks and entrées from the extensive menu spread out, combining movies with burgers, quesadillas, and steak tips.
While the theater blends old with new, Chunky's Bio Truck zooms into the future with a gas tank full of the 100% trans-fat-free canola oil used for cooking in the kitchen. The bio-fuel reduces the truck's greenhouse emissions and helps to decrease its carbon footprint, spreading an eco-conscious message to the community.
In addition to a dozen pool tables where fierce, steady-handed competitors and casual players can knock cues, Shooters boasts 10 HDTVs, dartboards, and a full bar with a draft beer selection. Sporting spectators can belly up to the industrial-style bar and watch the game or Mixed Martial Solitaire tournament while tipping back a 16-ounce glass of Bud Light ($2.50), Newcastle ($4), Guinness ($4.50), or Blue Moon ($4). Otherwise, take your drink to the billiards area and test your sharksmanship in a game of pool on one of Shooters’ clean, well-maintained tables ($5 per hour per person, $20 per hour for unlimited players). Shooters stays open until the film-noir hours of night, so newbie players will have all night to finish their first game.