Opened in 1939 by entertainer and vaudevillian Al B. White, Retro Lounge & Grill now forges fusion cuisine with an internationally inspired menu. Meld genres with appetizers such as vegetable tempura ($8) and piñata-friendly baby lamb lollipops ($9). The shrimp yuccanut entree ($15) swims in a coconut-cream sauce before pairing up with a side of mashed yucca. Retro Specialty chicken wings ($6–$20) strut with an array of seasonings, including jerk, oriental, and traditional buffalo. Diners can satiate sweet teeth on a slice of bread pudding drizzled in maple syrup and served with vanilla-bean ice cream ($7).
On Sunday at Cannon's Blackthorn, a fluid collective of flutists, drummers, and fiddlers gather around brick fireplaces and play traditional Irish music through the afternoon. They welcome all musicians into their circle, as well as the occasional Irish dancers, whose footfalls reverberate off the dining room's stone floors and wood walls. Though Sundays provide the liveliest display of Irish pride at Cannon's Blackthorn, the eatery celebrates Irish culture in more subtle ways throughout the week. Dining companions can settle into private enclaves to share a romantic dinner and whisper sweet nutritional facts into one another's ears before noshing on hearty meat stews and pot pies. Additionally, bartenders pour brews until 4 a.m. seven nights a week.
Senses come alive when sitting on the plush red couches at Kasbah Hookah Lounge. The sounds of DJs spinning tracks sync with the rhythmic movements of exotically clad belly dancers roaming from table to table, weaving through clouds of aromatic hookah smoke. Customers can puff on more than 85 flavor combinations of the house’s 24 Starbuzz shishas, including classic options such as mango, or pairings such as honey, vanilla, and mint. The house also crafts their own signature blends for the five VIP flavors, including cinnamon toast crunch, which pairs apple, cinnamon, and banana. Bottles of wine and pints of beer accompany hookahs on the table, providing all of the fillers for a comfortable night out without having to lug around childhood teddy bears.
At Raxx Pool Room, Sports Bar & Grill, rows of pool tables gleam under bright lights, waiting for the clatter of opening breaks and thuds of 8 balls sinking into called pockets. As expert or novice players line up their cues on the pristine felt, ample space around the tables allows for game attempts at tricky shots or rounds of Hokey Pokey to calm nerves. True to the sports bar's name, pool isn't the only activity here—arcade games, beer-pong matches, dart games, and karaoke performances grant their share of entertainment, as well. At the bar, the lights are a bit dimmer, so guests can relax after games by watching sports on the slate of 18 TVs—plus a 100-inch projector—and pairing wraps and burgers from the grill with a selection of specialty cocktails.
Donavon is a surfer-turned-musician whose self-titled debut was released on Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records and made the ARIA top 40 charts in 2004. In Mulcahy’s 1,400-person sound-o-sphere, his surf rock ballads, such as “It Don’t Matter” and “Move By Yourself,” will have the full force of live emotion and quality sound to superbly strum heartstrings and tickle earbones. Donavon’s Bermudan musical companion, Mishka, also has roots in the sea soil, having spent much of his childhood sailing and windsurfing before turning to reggae’s guitars and off-beat rhythms. In 2009, Mishka was named Best New Artist in the singer/songwriter category by iTunes.