Bred on Louisiana-style cooking, local restaurateur Grant Gieseler was dismayed by the lack of quality southern fare in the Cincinnati area. He and his business partner Blake Gieseler founded Bayou Fish House to introduce the area to fresh fried fish and hearty gumbo. Diners can grab meals to go or kick back at the bar or seating area and tell exaggerated tales about the biggest fish they ever ate. The eatery's walls sport a paddle, a life preserver, and various aquatic tchotchkes to remind fish of their home.
It started when Gerald Kubach became enamored with standup comedy. Looking to invest in the humor business, he and cofounder Mitch Kutash opened the very first Funny Bone Comedy Club in Pittsburg in 1982. Over 25 years later, the little club that could has turned into a national comedy institution, with branches in nearly every metropolitan city. While household names such as Jerry Seinfeld, Drew Carey, Roseanne Barr, and Tim Allen have cut their teeth on the clubs' stages, The Funny Bone continues to offer the first big breaks to up-and-coming local talent. All Funny Bones sport full-service bars to lubricate laughter – the Toledo location serves up a bouillabaisse of spicy Louisiana flavor at its adjoining restaurant Fat Fish Blue.
The family is the basic unit of society—yet, statistically, family members are the very people most likely to steal the last soda from the fridge. Solidify family alliances and suss out enemies with today's Groupon: for $20, you get an all-day video-game play pass at GameWorks, located in Newport, KY. Each pass purchased can only be used by one person; buy up to five and bring the entire family or a school of bipedal fish.
GameWorks, a gigantic entertainment destination constructed with flashy Vegas panache, ensures both children and adults have a delightful time fighting pixelated zombies. Choose from a windmill-factory’s worth (more than 200) of video games, including crowd favorites such as Guitar Hero, Razing Storm, and Midnight Max Tune 3. Race a raucous motion car game while imagining your head is bald with The Fast and the Furious, or pay a nostalgic visit to the old school with games such as Pac-Man, Mario Kart, and Space Wonder. Your card is also valid for virtual dance stations and shooting games. Although today’s Groupon does not cover the cost of food or drinks, you won’t have far to wander for sustenance thanks to an on-site restaurant and two bars with potent potables for the adults.
Five Yelpers give GameWorks an average of three stars, and four Insider Pagers give it an average rating of four stars:
- Arcades with amazing games and an amusement park, too. – Anna D., Insider Pages
- It's got all sorts of DDR, which is one of the more popular games as well as arcarde [sic] types, and classics. Great fun. – Tian J., Insider Pages
- awesome arcade. great selection from skeeball to driving simulators, they've got it all. – Rich H., Yelp
After a miscellany of incarnations since the building's assembly in the late 1880s, York Street Café in Newport billets a first floor restaurant, second floor lounge, third floor art gallery, and fourth floor art studio. If the weather cooperates, loaf on the garden patio for lunch and share a Swiss Fondue or Mediterranean conversation platter with a friend ($18). The homey interior cuddles the dining area with bookshelves rife with treatises and doohickeys. Settle in for dinner, peek at the wine list, and warm your insides with modern comfort food like vegan polenta packed with sautéed vegetables and pumpkin seeds ($18-$23) or a sandwich supplied with a side of homemade green bean casserole ($12). York Street Café regularly schedules live entertainment for a complete night out.
In 1589, Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria established a Hofbräuhaus, or "court brew house." Made in compliance with the Bavarian Beer Purity Law, pours for Wilhelm and his court were made with only three ingredients: hops, malt, and water. More than 400 years later, the brewers at the American Hofbräuhaus still abide by those rules and recipes. Wilhelm's ghost and a living German brewmaster supervise Hofbräuhaus' in-house production, which yields four year-round varieties, as well as seasonal specials such as an Oktoberfest beer.
To complement those classic quaffs, cooks craft traditional German cuisine from local and imported ingredients. House-made bier cheese smothers Bavarian-style nachos, bacon and mushroom sauce covers schnitzels, and red apple kraut pairs with sauerbraten's slow-braised beef. Diners can dig in and practice their best "Prost!" inside a traditional bier hall, where flat-screen TVs surround wooden communal tables and live accordion music frequently soars to the rafters. Hofbräuhaus also hosts guests inside a quieter dining room or on the bier garden, a shaded outdoor perch overlooking the Newport waterfront and Cincinnati skyline.
Bars are great spots for declaring preemptive thumb war on unsuspecting foes, so you’ll need to stockpile rations for a lengthy campaign. Sidebar’s menu offers plenty of options, including appetizers such as onion straws ($5.95), quesadilla rolls ($5.95), Juan Parnello’s queso dip ($5.95), and Sidebar wings (6 for $4.95, 12 for $8.95). Dig your mouth-shovels into a tasty burger that’s hand-pattied daily with 80/20 Black Angus beef. Burger options include the Soprano (pizza sauce, onion, and two cheese sticks, $7.50), the Devil’s Advocate (spicy ranch sauce, sliced jalapeno, and provolone, $7.25), and the Double Jeopardy (two patties with your choice of cheese, $8.50). Sandwiches such as the Roebling Reuben ($7.95) are also available, as well as 12” pizzas such as buffalo chicken ($9.95) and The Big Bill with onions, peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, Italian sausage, and double cheese ($12.95).