At first glance, Keagan's Irish Pub and Finn McCool's don't seem so different. Both are thoroughly Irish establishments, serving traditional dishes of shepherd's pie, bangers 'n' mash, and fish ?n? chips in dining rooms adorned with dark woods and stonework accents. Both also feature regular karaoke nights and live-music acts that regale patrons with songs so catchy they're under investigation by the CDC. But Finn McCool's stands out from its sister restaurant in one important aspect?its seafood bar, replete with broiled oysters and clams, steamed shrimp and snow crab, and saut?ed mussels that arrive to tables solo or in hefty combination platters.
The weathered sign outside reads "99 Beers & Ales," directing visitors toward The Weekend Pub's beer list, which overflows with domestic and imported brews. Inside, pint glasses fill with an earth-toned rainbow of suds hailing from Ireland, Scotland, Africa, the Philippines, and France. Hands wrap around familiar bottles from St. George and Celis or slowly count off syllables when writing haikus about Weihenstephaner kristall. Glasses lift against the steady beat of clattering plates, laden with a menu of shaved-steak sandwiches and sirloin burgers crowned in Guinness-based sauce. As eyelids sink contentedly to half-mast, patrons toss beanbags or darts at their respective target in contests of eye-hand coordination. Some evenings, teams compete to correctly answer trivia questions in exchange for prizes and the right to high-five each other every hour on the hour. The sounds of acoustic guitars and tremulous vocals waft through the air during open-mike nights and live musical acts on the weekends.
Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn’t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were “quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,” according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face—that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews—and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front—though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.
Brickhouse Tavern draws inspiration from New York pizzerias and roadside diners in equal measure, compiling a menu of familiar American comfort foods. The eatery demonstrates its commitment to the region by sourcing as much produce from local farmers as possible, supporting growers who embrace organic and eco-friendly practices in particular. These ingredients lend vibrant flavors to the tavern's signature pizzas, which are created using generations-old family recipes as well as a bit of New York flair. With more than 20 toppings available, guests can design personalized pies with anything from meatballs and fresh garlic to salami and jalapeños. Classic pasta dishes also allow the tavern's Italian origins to shine through an otherwise all-American smorgasbord of burgers, wings, and french fries that don't understand the metric system.
Saisaki's chefs weren't content to simply fuse the dishes of two different cultures. Instead, they culled culinary techniques and recipes from Japan, China, Thailand, and Malaysia to prepare raw and cooked Eastern cuisine. Traditional and specialty sushi rolls slip snugly between chopsticks, as do Hunan-style scallops and tender cuts of steak cooked over a toasty hibachi flame. Hot and cold bottles of Gekkeikan and Ozeki saki clink symphonically above slices of hot-fudge chocolate cake that provides a satisfying epilogue to the meal.