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.
There's a clear star at Red Dog Saloon—its face plastered everywhere on the walls and even on the restaurant's sign itself. The saloon's cartoon bulldog mascot greets visitors, though its stern face is not nearly as welcoming as what waits at the bar—tap after tap of draft beer.
The drinks pair with bar-food favorites such as loaded nachos and pizza. Weekends, meanwhile, line up a breakfast and brunch board of fare that encompasses waffles and country-style eggs benedicts with home fries. Red Dog Saloon keeps patrons entertained after they eat with pool tables and lots of TVs, which show sports such as professional football, college football, professional baseball and kindergarten quidditch.
Whether settling a pool-hall bet or the question of who can finish a burger the fastest, gamers have been fueling their competitive spirits at Jillian’s of Chesapeake for more than 20 years. Balls tumble down nine lanes toward clusters of pins in the bowling alley, while players at the billiard hall’s 10 tables psyche out pool sharks by reenacting the ending to Jaws. Elsewhere, joysticks and racing wheels test hand-eye coordination on the arcade’s more than 100 video games. In between each frame, shot, or level, players can reenergize with salads, burgers, and flatbreads at the restaurant while catching up-to-the-minute sports and highlights. The facility’s private rooms and semi-private lounges further accommodate feasting guests, with bites from Jillian’s of Chesapeake’s catering menus keeping them pleasantly sated throughout their soiree.
Since 1971, players inside the more than 25,000-square-foot Q-Master Billiards have lined up breaks and winning eight-ball shots on more than 70 billiards tables. The brainchild of Barry Behrman, who founded the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships in 1976, Q-Master hosts its own 9-ball tournaments every Wednesday and Sunday. The pool hall's retail shop can even equip patrons with new cues—plus gear like gloves and training aids—before tournaments, hourly table rentals, or league games Monday through Thursday.
If games leave you parched, bartenders manning Q-Master's two bars serve up beers, cocktails, and shooters like the Swedish Fish—a blend of blackberry schnapps, triple sec, and cranberry. Those beverages complement Q-Master's inventive menu, which boasts quesadillas filled with pizza fixings, and chargrilled burgers topped with bacon, a chicken tender, and a fried egg whose dreams of becoming a cue ball sadly never came to fruition.
No matter the day, a sense of competition fills the air at King Pin Lanes. The sound of clattering pins and congratulatory high-fives echoes as bowlers roll strikes down the alley's 32 gleaming lanes. Automatic scoring systems allow visitors to focus on their upcoming bowls instead of adding up frames, and groups with kids 10 and younger can add bumpers to each gutter to help little ones get into the competitive spirit. Every Friday and Saturday, a DJ spins tunes to soundtrack cosmic bowling sessions with requests dominating after 9 p.m. At King Pin Cafe, King Pin Lanes' snack bar, bowlers gather all week long around plates of tater tots or freshly grilled burgers for conciliatory snacks after intense games or bowling shoe insults, while a full-service restaurant and lounge, Midlo's Bite is also available.