Nestled in Syracuse’s historic Armory Square district, PJ’s Pub and Grill’s unpretentious atmosphere belies the filet mignon sizzling in its kitchen. Patrons can slice into gourmet beef cuts and other upscale dinner entrees, such as a sesame-crusted tuna and portobello-stuffed ravioli, as games unfold on the eatery’s big-screen TVs. Alternatively, diners can opt for bar-style eats, which complement a bar-sized selection of wine, beer and shots. Dishes range from shepherd’s pie and grilled paninis to burgers, such as the Southwestern, crowned in pepper jack cheese and onion straws. A daily rotation of lunch and happy-hour specials adds an element of surprise to the dining experience, much like finding a winning lottery ticket in your date's wallet, and groups can retire to a choice of two brick-walled banquet halls for private celebrations.
An old-fashioned marquee illuminates the entrance to the Palace Theater, its scarlet and gold light beaming just as brightly as when the venue first opened in 1922. Back then, it was a 1,300-seat neighborhood movie theater with a second-floor dine and dance ballroom. That was owner Alfred Dibella's vision, and when he passed away in 1959, he made sure the theater landed safely in the hands of his daughter, Frances.
Today, the Palace remains a family heirloom. Much like a dubstep remix of the Gettysburg Address, the current space is a mixture of modern technology and vintage appeal, retaining its architectural integrity despite updates over the years. Perhaps the biggest change has been Palace's transformation from a single-screen movie house into a multi-use event space, capable of hosting everything from rehearsal dinners to graduation ceremonies.
Seasoned boat captains and crustacean prospectors Sig Hansen, Johnathan Hillstrand, and Andy Hillstrand gather to share with audience members their tales of struggle and survival during crab season on the high seas, as partly documented by the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Fishing the Bering Sea in the middle of winter demands strong wills—which can come together in times of treacherous weather and 100-foot waves or come to blows about who performs better in the three-legged crabwalk race. Selected audience members will also have the chance to don the survival suits from the Time Bandit. Following the story-swapping and previously unreleased video footage, greenhorns and avid fans will have the opportunity to launch questions at the captains, wave giant foam claws, and learn how to communicate in claw-snap Morse code.