Opened in 2009, PINZ features high-tech amenities and a modern design, all part of its goal to offer customers a contemporary bowling experience that makes them forget about the dingy bowling alleys of the past. While sitting on leather benches, guests reach out to rest their drinks on wooden coffee tables before lacing up a pair of bowling shoes. After selecting a ball from a wooden and chrome rack, they center themselves in one of 10 lanes before sending pins sailing. This upscale experience is thanks to PINZ's 10 Pin Alley, a lounge with a private wait staff, and one of many amenities that sets PINZ apart from other bowling alleys. When not bowling in the lounge or on one of the alley's other 34 lanes, bowlers can grab a bite at Harvey's American Pub—an in-house restaurant and bar that serves pizza, burgers, and hearty entrees—or indulge in entertainment such as billiards and arcade games. The alley also contains a glow-in-the-dark laser-tag arena for settling bets over who is the best bowler.
The first IHOP—the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin—opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the International House of Pancakes. Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001.
Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.
Typically, the only time a public bar is lit like a cozy living room is when patrons bring chandeliers with them. But at Jake's City Grille's Plymouth location, homey lamps illuminate a wooden bar, which competes with the elegance of the fireplace inside Eden Prairie’s dining room. Red umbrellas, meanwhile, keep the sun in check on Maplewood’s outdoor patio. Each location cultivates its own one-of-a-kind ambience, such as the warmly lit interior of Eagan’s space and the rustic feel of Gull Lake’s confines. These finely tuned atmospheres create a welcoming place to enjoy seared Ahi tuna, marinated chicken breast sandwiches, and cowboy ribeye steaks so fresh they still have the lasso on them.
More than 50 years go, Mike Ilitch was poised for major-league glory. An up-and-coming shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, his baseball finesse was blossoming when an injury derailed his sports career. But although the wound stunted his athletic aspirations, it steered him toward a new path, and on May 8, 1959, he and his wife opened the first Little Caesars location, a then-unheard-of carry-out-only joint. The career shift and novel technique eventually proved triumphant. Today, the pizzeria's iconic, toga-clad mascot adorns storefronts on five continents. In each shop, staffers forge the signature Hot-N-Ready pizza, a freshly baked pizza designed for instant pickup, and warm, garlicky Crazy bread. With a storied half century under their belt, Mike Ilitch and his family strive to give back, supporting local organizations and creating their own charitable programs.