Owner Jessica Jones-Healey founded Tidewater Studios for the Arts Inc. in 2009 as a noncompetitive forum for kids to practice performing and visual arts. Winner of a 2011 Virginian-Pilot Reader's Choice Award for Best Dance Studio and Best Performing Arts Academy in Portsmouth, Western Branch, Churchland, and North Suffolk, the facility inspires children with engaging explorations into the joys of hand-made art, hand-played music, and hands-free dance.
Whether settling a pool-hall bet or the question of who can finish a burger the fastest, gamers have been fueling their competitive spirits at Jillian’s of Chesapeake for more than 20 years. Balls tumble down nine lanes toward clusters of pins in the bowling alley, while players at the billiard hall’s 10 tables psyche out pool sharks by reenacting the ending to Jaws. Elsewhere, joysticks and racing wheels test hand-eye coordination on the arcade’s more than 100 video games. In between each frame, shot, or level, players can reenergize with salads, burgers, and flatbreads at the restaurant while catching up-to-the-minute sports and highlights. The facility’s private rooms and semi-private lounges further accommodate feasting guests, with bites from Jillian’s of Chesapeake’s catering menus keeping them pleasantly sated throughout their soiree.
When a pair of former Virginia Beach lifeguards came up with the idea to open the first Chicho's Restaurant in 1968, they had one goal in mind: use nothing but fresh ingredients to make the best pizza they could. Decades later, this simple philosophy has grown into a statewide franchise where every topping is freshness and every pizza is hand tossed. A flavorful layer of marinara, garlic and herb, or hot and spicy sauces cover traditional and thin-crust pies scattered with more than 20 toppings in specialty and build-your-own combinations. Boneless chicken bites and wings soak up 10 different sauce varieties, including Cho's fire, garlic parmesan, and teriyaki. After two-handing a 5-ounce burger or hearty sub, guests can improve hand-eye coordination or get rid of cursed quarters by playing the games in Chicho's arcade.
Backed by live music and sleek décor, the culinary savants at 45 Degrees Martini Lounge concoct more than 60 specialty martinis to complement their shareable cuisine and meaty sandwiches. Diners can feel free to mix and match inventive tapas plates and appetizers, including seasoned steak bites, garlic shrimp, and tilapia stuffed with more crabmeat than a sea captain's pillow. Or dig into standalone entrees such as bison burgers, and then head over to the stainless steel bar to sip flavorful beverages.
Rich blue walls and red curtains make up the dining room, which also serves as a stage where local jazz musicians perform and open mic nights where patrons sing odes to their favorite cut of meat.
Good aim is an important attribute at Longshots Billiards & Darts. Here, competitors slide victory into their cross hairs while sinking shots on 17 pool tables and pegging bulls-eye's on 14 dartboards. Between match-ups, friends can call a truce and set their sights on sandwiches, wraps, and baskets of savory snacks, as well as drinks from two different bars. Certain nights throughout the week also feature additional activities?such as corn hole and karaoke?and separate smoking and nonsmoking sections ensure everyone is as comfortable as an introvert who just found a nice, quiet closet at a party.
Though flavorful Italian cuisine is at the core of Cogan's Pizza, taste buds aren’t the only sensory receptors that perk up when visiting the vibrant eatery. The interior provides a visual feast with huge chandeliers casting subtle twinkles across pressed-tin ceilings and walls covered with posters and music memorabilia. The music motif also engages ears and vocal cords with regular live performances and karaoke.
At the bar, more than 30 beers flow from a lineup of seasonally rotating taps, each carbonated with the perfect number of bubbles to wash down cheesy and meaty pies. For patrons who adhere to a more plant-based diet, the cooks can also top crusts with faux meats, soy cheese, or an evil aunt’s favorite orchid. Pasta dishes, hot sandwiches, and subs stacked with roasted chicken, italian sausage, or roast beef round out the menu.