Bartenders mix more than 30 specialty martinis at Lounge 33, a riverside bar that owes its sophistication to owners Angela and George Tavaglione. The owners’ extensive menu of mixed drinks includes nods to highbrow entertainment, including The Godfather, a drink that fuses Johnnie Walker Green Label and Disaronno amaretto, or the Dirt and Spice martini, an avant-garde combination of Absolut Peppar and olive juice, Tapatio hot sauce, and lemon. Though the focus is on mixed drinks, the Tavagliones also stock wine and beer, while their skilled cooks prepare flatbread pizzas and italian meatball sandwiches guaranteed not to pop a meatball out and send it rolling to the top of Mount Smokey.
UltraStar Cinemas cossets moviegoers in cushy seating as they enjoy Hollywood hits alongside buttery servings of popcorn. Film buffs can peruse the current showtimes by location to handpick an action-packed flick, romantic comedy, or chilling thriller featuring inexplicably aggressive hamsters. The concession stand outfits moviegoers with snacks, drinks, and buckets filled with warm kernels, keeping stomach grumblings to a minimum during showings and providing crunchy projectiles in case of sudden younger-sibling attacks. UltraStar Play it Again Cinemas also offers a selection of Hollywood hits for patrons to enjoy in high-back reclining chairs alongside snacks from the concession stand.
The crowd murmurs with excitement, crunching on popcorn and sending out their final texts before turning off their cellphones. Then the lights dim, and all eyes affix to the starlet’s illuminated face, already wrought with emotion that will build in the 90 minutes to follow.
This is the scene that takes place again and again as Jurupa 14 Cinemas screens 3-D masterpieces and other films fresh from Hollywood, where trees are actually just cardboard cutouts. To enhance the movie-watching experience, Coca-Cola freestyle soda machines let drinkers combine flavors for more than 125 different fizzy concoctions that pair with candy and popcorn.
When barbecue-chicken sandwiches, teriyaki burgers, and a bunch of beef tacos washed up on Margarita Beach, the clouds began hurling large beerdrops earthward and the breeze blew away the sand to reveal a dance floor. Soon, DJs and bartenders flocked to the site, bringing with them stories of ‘80s-themed parties, beer pong, more beer pong, and Fist-Pumpin’ Fridays that quickly attracted crowds of people hungry for food and entertainment. TVs eventually got wind of all the excitement. So, they packed their vacuum tubes and flew in with visions of UFC fights and college sports. To this day, partiers still take in the open air on a patio that a nameless sailor left behind, feeling the delicious weight of turkey hoagies in their hands, thanking heaven for quesadillas, buying cocktails for pictures of bikini-clad models, and then watching the stars sputter out when Margarita Beach’s clock strikes 2 a.m.