Under the tutelage of the highly experienced instructors at Metal Shop Music, fledgling strummers will glean useful guitar-playing how-tos during a pair of half-hour private sessions. Students bring their own electric or acoustic palettes on which to paint their musical pictures, and can explore any style, such as classical, Southern rock, or a capella. In the store's music room, beginners meet with local musician Matt Brown, who teaches modern pick style and methods for soothing your instrument when it gets stage fright. Intermediate to advanced scholars will study with chord-shredding master Kirk Andrews as he leads players through tutorials on how to play lead, increase their accuracy, and survive in the unfriendly wilderness of harmonic minor scales.
A warm mug of fragrant coffee is comforting. So is the touch of a soft, hand-knitted scarf on your skin—albeit in a different way. These two comforts come together at Mamma Lane's Coffee House & Yarn Studio, where baristas serve café drinks and baked goods, pairing Mudslide frappuccinos with cookies and scones, while skilled artisans stock yarn and teach knitting classes nearby. Visitors learn to craft yarn into scarves, pompoms, and other cozy creations.
With nearly 30 years of glass industry experience, professional artist Kathleen leads students of all levels in creating works of art. Her classes?which are kept small to allow for individualized attention?teach the basics of stained glass, fused glass, and mosaics, as well as creating jewelry items such as beads and pendants. Kathleen can also be commissioned to create custom pieces, such as church windows and stained glass doors.
Gazing out his window at Veni Vici Pizza, owner Gustavo Arriola watches pods of dolphins splash through the cresting waves. The diners take in the same scene at the waterfront tables, sipping glasses of wine and splitting deep-dish pizzas. Formerly in the banking business, Arriola decided that he wanted to take charge of his future by making his own way into the restaurant industry. He naturally gravitated toward opening a pizzeria because he "loves everything about pizza," especially the limitless topping combinations that you can invent yourself or select according to the pizza almanac. From his kitchen, he can decorate dough with everything from fresh green peppers to italian beef and spicy giardiniera. As an alternative to typical thin- and pan-crust pies, Arriola also spotlights Chicago-style deep-dish and stuffed-crust pies on his menu with their special sauce and thick, buttery crusts.
Mugs 'N Jugs takes pub fare to new heights with pulled pork sandwiches stacked high between two slices of toasted ciabatta bread, and juicy burgers on brioche buns. Their crispy, battered wings are a local favorite and can be ordered with your choice of fiery sauces. Lighter options include turkey-club spinach wraps and a gourmet chicken salad tossed with fresh pineapples, grapes, and walnuts. In between bites, diners can play pool, watch sporting events on big screen TVs, or perfect their karaoke.
For more than 20 years, the professional photographers at Charlie's Angels Photography have worked to capture images that not only preserve memories but also incorporate artistic touches. Their digital galleries boast shots from larger occasions such as weddings and runway shows to private events such as boudoir and portrait sessions. Their staff also includes professional makeup artists, who can prep subjects for shoots or gussy up complexions before weddings or high-school-graduation re-enactments.