Lining up his shot, the golfer draws a breath and putts his ball down the last green on the legendary Jubilee Course at St. Andrews in Scotland. He checks the clock—all 18 holes in one hour. This would be impossible at the real St. Andrews between walking from hole to hole or fighting off the rabid venus flytraps that guard the greens, but in the PGA Tour simulator, it's par for the course. Visitors compete on more than 50 other championship courses from around the world with their own clubs or rented TaylorMade clubs, blasting golf balls toward the screens projecting the two simulators' immersive 3-D worlds. Along with 18-hole games, patrons can practice their drive on virtual ranges.
For nongolfers, the lounge stocks foosball and billiards tables, a dartboard, cornhole on the patio, and plenty of high-definition TVs to catch the latest sports. Card sharks can also show off their skills at weekly poker tournaments. Throughout all their events, Swingers Sports Lounge and Grill keeps patrons satiated with upscale bar food, such as burgers topped with sriracha mayo and a pound of wings doused in ghost-pepper sauce, which chefs summon during a séance.
At African Grill and Bar, owners Osei and Adowa Ford-Wuo strive to make everyone’s African dining experience fun and unintimidating, personally attending to guests and making suggestions from the menu of beef and goat stews, fried snapper and grouper, and fragrantly spiced spinach and vegetable plates. Unlike traditional American starches such as boring white bread and canisters of uncooked biscuit dough, even the carbs of West African cuisine lend distinct flavors to plates. Fried plantains, ground cassava, and tender spheroids of pounded yam accompany dishes, which range from groundnut soups to chicken curries. Fried-rice pilafs pop with the vibrant colors of spinach, tomato, and spices, complementing the décor of dark red tables, wicker chairs, leafy plants, and walls bedecked with African woodworking and weaving.
Amid the lively Kinga’s Lounge, owner Kinga Klek regularly rolls up her sleeves and tends to the full bar and kitchen, working beside a family of staffers as they construct traditional Polish cuisine from scratch. The chefs turn fresh ingredients into authentic dishes, such as stews, schnitzels, and pierogis, while bartenders help diners navigate the staggering menu of Polish beers and vodkas.
Inside the lounge’s dining area, a full-wall mural interrupts a red-and-white color scheme as light from chandeliers dapples ornate wood furnishings. Leather armchairs cradle patrons upstairs, who can carry their merrymaking downstairs to Kinga’s Basement, an equally spirited watering hole where exposed-brick walls stand sentinel under arches and pillars. Festivities spill over to the outdoor patio, enclosed by verdant foliage and strings of lights that crisscross the al fresco space in a foolish attempt to make their way east to become one with the sun. A full schedule of events, including a live DJ on weekends and a comedy showcase on Sunday evenings, keeps revelers reveling.
Seasoned cook Jose Aparicio, affectionately known as Chef Pepito, puts his more than 20 years experience to use preparing authentic Peruvian dishes with an American twist, cooking inside a sleek, brightly colored eatery decked out with rustic wrought-iron chandeliers. He marinates his classic ceviche’s halibut in lime before mingling it with corn, potatoes, red onion, and cilantro, as well as sizzles up heartier entrees such as tacu tacu—bean cakes and brown rice topped with a quintessential Peruvian seafood sauce. He also riffs on classic Peruvian food with mushroom ceviche and spiced filet mignon with crunchy potatoes.
Behind the bar, which is inlaid with exposed brick, drink mavens craft Peruvian cocktails, such as pisco sours and the Mosquito, a variation of the mojito that’s amped up with Cointreau and fruit juices before being swatted, not stirred.
Every aspect of Next Door Lounge is designed with one goal in mind: helping patrons unwind. Craft beers complement Next Door’s menu of pub food classics, such as juicy Angus beef burgers and wings doused in fiery atomic sauce. As tunes play from the jukebox, the night’s biggest games and most crucial advertisements are shown on a 10'x6' television screen. Other matches unfold in-house, from tests of true aim on the beer pong table to careful stacking sessions with the bar’s giant Jenga set. Evenings at Next Door Lounge also pack plenty of live entertainment, including bingo and open mic nights.