The Webster opened as an art-deco movie house more than 70 years ago, and in 1992, the theater and its employees’ slang were both restored to their original condition. Today, the stage monopolizes a major portion of the big-name acts passing through Hartford, with previous headliners including Whitesnake, Henry Rollins, and Cake. A wide-open orchestra invites dancing, and a more-relaxed loge area lets guests coolly survey the action onstage and in the audience.
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.
Most people will never get the chance to play a round of golf at Augusta National. At Pappas Indoor Golf & Baseball, players can approximate their dream round inside the complex's trio of indoor golf simulators. The simulator screens replicate 230 courses in vivid detail, including the venerable host course of The Masters and Scotland's Saint Andrews. The simulators share space with a well-rounded practice facility that includes a 1,600-square-foot putting green, 12 hitting bays, a short game area, and a sand bunker. In areas designated for private lessons, PGA pro Bill Pappas polishes his clients' mechanics with the help of video swing analysis equipment.
Golfers aren’t the only athletes taking cuts at Pappas Indoor. The facility’s indoor batting cages let softball and baseball stars fine-tune their swing, take some extra batting practice on a rainy day, or test whether pitching machines can feel human emotions.
Handcrafted by its nimble-fingered staff, Beadles’ voluminous selection of handmade jewelry began to burst the seams of the 1,500-square-foot Chelmsford store, prompting the launch of the newly minted Rockport location. The new location broadens Beadles’ epic spread of Swarovski crystals, acrylics, and kaleidoscopic glass, allowing browsers to purchase bauble ingredients by the piece or pre-assembled bracelets and necklaces. Crafters of all skill sets can put their purchases to use during free workshops or fashion their own custom creations during parties ideal for birthday girls, girl-scout troops, and newly chosen presidential nominees.
Since 1965, the family-run Ski Haus has kept customers coming back by adhering to the family motto: “Make sure we keep a fun environment and give everybody a fair deal. They get a ton of stuff for their money and we stay in business for a long time." Patrons can still expect the same low prices and see the same friendly staffers’ faces year after year while shopping for winter gear.
Racks stocked with apparel by brands such as The North Face and Marmot, skis and snowboards by brands such as Atomic and K2, and a team of skilled technicians have earned Ski Haus accolades from Ski magazine, SnowSports Industries America, and New England Winter Sports Representatives, Inc. During tune-ups, technicians polish skis, stone-grind ski edges, apply hot wax, and repair bases damaged by treacherous slopes and sharp snowman noses.
When festival founder Anne-Marie Aigner first noticed the burgeoning food-truck scenes on the West Coast and the Midwest, her prescient mind foresaw that the tide would make its way to New England. In order to cultivate the nascent movement, she founded her food-truck-festival tour to bring dozens of trucks' eclectic wares to locales outside of Boston. Already scoring mentions in Boston and Worcester Mag in its first year, the festival has featured such four-wheeled kitchens as Redbones BBQ and Roxy's Grilled Cheese. Aigner hopes to sustain the food-truck industry beyond the festival's inaugural year by attracting interest throughout the region and motivating grassroots support for the mobile culinary spots and their future descendants, sandwich-slinging helicopters.