Strings of colored lights twinkle from the rafters of Gator Jake's Bar Grill Patio, where walls of retro neon and pressed-metal signs lend the dining room a vivacious vibe. The menu brings creole and southwestern perspectives to the table, providing etouffees, steak-fajita subs, and barbecue chicken monterey to complement a glass of Beringer wine, a specialty cocktail, or a beer called Guinness, Killian's, or Corona. Wall-mounted flat-screen televisions broadcast major sporting events as the sounds of clacking pool balls, whirring darts, and songs from the jukebox and periodic live entertainment fill the air. Open until 2 a.m., Gator Jake's—which took third place in the 2011 Detroit A-List's race for Best Sports Bar—welcomes patrons to stay for a late-night birthday party or celebrate the opening of a foreign stock exchange far, far away.
The self-proclaimed home of the $1 draft, Dooleys Tavern keeps 20 beers cascading from their taps. Those suds complement the chefs' pub food, which includes American tavern classics such as half-pound burgers and up to 50 chicken wings doused in a choice of four sauces. The draft beer house also concocts American dishes with an Irish twist such as corned-beef sliders and a pizza filled with mashed potatoes and topped with bacon and red onions.
Seven nights a week, Dooleys’ three locations keep guests entertained until 2 a.m. on an outdoor patio, in a room full of classic bar games, and with plenty of HDTVs showing the game. The trio of taverns also accommodates up to 100 guests for private parties. Additionally, the Mount Clemens location pairs feasts with sidesplitting routines from standup comics in Carmen's Showroom.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
The instructors at Anita's Theatre Dance & Performing Arts foster a love of dance in students aged 3 and older with a diverse schedule of 30-minute weekly lessons in a variety of styles. Fledgling dancers can dip their toes into ballet and learn to plié in age-appropriate beginner sessions, and older, more experienced hoofers can hone their skills in classes in adult tap, junior partnering, and intermediate jazz. All classes take place within one of three large dance rooms, replete with mirrors and cardboard cutouts of a scowling John Lithgow.
The cunning cooks at City Pub Sports Bar and Grill craft succulent sandwiches, hearty burgers, and gourmet pizza served alongside cold beer and top-shelf cocktails. Mini tacos ($5.95) tickle taste buds in small bites and entice hungry elves, and burgers such as the Texas burger and the Ranchero burger ($8.50 each), accompanied by fries and coleslaw, quickly book every room at your stomach's hotel. A taste of the U.K. makes an appearance with City Pub's fish 'n' chips ($10.95), and gourmet pizzas ($10.95–$15.95) busy mandibles as their owners watch feats of athleticism on one of 28 high-definition TVs. The eatery's outdoor patio, bar, and barbecue add a side of fresh air and sunshine to fare fetes, as families, groups of friends, and clown-car evacuees delight in combo meals ($19.95+), which feed four to six people.
At Manda's Rhythm and Dance, studio director Manda Moore and her staff of seasoned steppers guide budding hoofers through age-specific dance classes for adults and children. Encouragement buzzes through the air at the stress-free studio, where amiable educators help youthful students sharpen vital motor skills, learn healthy habits, and develop the self-confidence needed to back down pushy imaginary friends. Ballet classes impart classic and contemporary techniques, while tap transforms toes into finely tuned instruments or bug squashers. Jazz and hip-hop classes teach distinct, modern dance forms, and creative-movement courses cater to dancers less than 4 years of age with introductions to various styles and lectures on why bibs should never be used as capes.