Modeled after the dark wood and stone beer halls that dot the European countryside, Bier Academy welcomes weary travelers with international drafts and classic pub eats paired with American beers and comfort food. Its beer menu helps guests plan a pint-fueled tour of the continent’s northeastern corners, with beers from Belgium, Germany, Holland, and the United Kingdom, including Chimay Blue Belgian dark ale or Paulaner’s hazy hefeweizen. On the American side, sudsy sippables from Allagash, Shipyard, and other thriving microbreweries help guests experience the nation’s beer renaissance one glass at a time. To complement this bounty of brews, cooks whip up meaty sandwiches and signature sausage plates featuring 11 kinds of links from around the world.
While working their way through the regular selection of brews or attending special beer tastings, guests stay abreast of international sports thanks to the bar’s fleet of flat-screen televisions, which often showcase international soccer showdowns. In the evenings, the TVs quiet down as the speakers amp up, prepping ears for live performances from local musicians. The staff also hosts poker tournaments and trivia nights every week, helping guests work on their bluffing skills or actually use their encyclopedic knowledge of Spuds MacKenzie’s family tree.
Within Valley Wing Pit Sports Bar & Grill, referee-jersey-clad waiters circulate the sprawling 5,000-square-foot sports bar, serving heaping plates of wings slathered in eight sauces. The bar boasts 19 screens flickering with sports games or the anguished postgame depression of refs. There's even a giant projection screen fitted into a yellow goalpost. Nine draft beers and numerous bottled beers complement the serving of grilled eats, such as hoagie-wrapped brats and 16-inch four-cheese pizzas. Despite its focus on wings, the bar does present an all-you-can-eat salad bar, which shouldn't be taken literally, since they need the lettuce tongs for tomorrow's patrons.
A quick perusal of Buon Gusto's classic Italian menu induces immediate mouth watering without so much as a Pavlovian peal. Start off with flavorful appetizers such as crab cakes with lobster sauce ($6.95), bruschetta ($5.50), and a belly-warming bowl of pastina in brodo (chicken broth with pasta; $7.50). With your appetite aptly antipastoed, try out pasta dishes such as the fusilla all fantasia, a flying dragon ride through toasted pine nuts, cream, brandy, shallots, and gorgonzola ($12.50), and the penne all' amalfi with roasted peppers and pink sauce ($11.50). Sink seafaring pearlies into the linguine with clam or mussels ($17.50) or opt for the alla paillard, tender veal kissed with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon ($17.95). Buon Gusto also offers pizzas, calzones, and family-style dinners, just right for patrons who prefer to control the migratory patterns of their dinner plates.
The bubblegum pink that brightens Blo Blow Dry Bar reflects the blow dry bar’s whimsical approach to coifing. Born in 2007 to fill a gap in the beauty industry, Blo sticks solely to styling locks with seven signature Blo Outs that range from the smooth, voluminous Red Carpet to the Boho Side Braid, ideal for camouflaging heads in woven throw rugs. The business caters to a range of customers from those prepping for a special date night to brides-to-be, spending up to 45 minutes delineating their desired looks during consultations.
Blo Blow Dry Bar assures its clients that they aren't "cheating" on their hairdressers, since the Blo Blow Dry Bar doesn't offer typical services such as cuts and color. Each stylist graduates from the Blo U(niversity) training program, and they can also perform extra services, such as deep conditioning, clip-in extensions, head massage, and gloss treatments.
Live musicians and DJs add a rhythmic sway to the steps of guests toting frosty bottles of beers and salt-flecked margaritas from Norwood Bar & Lounge's gleaming counter. Light caroms off black leather seating and red walls from overhead chandeliers, and soft chatter drifts between candles or distracts golden-retriever quarterbacks on the flat-screen television. Themed parties and dance events fuel revelry, and drinks rise toward the ornate paneled metal ceiling to meet in happy toasts.
Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn’t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were “quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,” according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face—that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews—and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front—though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.