A warm breeze ruffles the bayou grasses that grow beside the Petite Amite River, pointing pontoons and passersby toward a tropical haven lined with glowing tiki torches. Known as Riverfront Tiki Hut, this getaway teems with the scents of house-made sausages and the sounds of bands from ports near and far. Guests devour slow-smoked pork ribs in an air-conditioned interior filled with long marble bars and exposed rafters, pausing to savor sports highlights on a flat-screen TV. Outside on the deck, bartenders pour shots of rum in an island-style hut as guests drink in views of the dock or line up for rides in the restaurant’s bathysphere. On Friday and Saturday evenings, guests can take part in a crayfish boil or grab a bucket of worms to practice for the bar’s next catfish rodeo.
Ascension Community Theatre gathers gifted local actors and directors on the stage of the historic Pasqua Theater for acclaimed modern plays. The Pulitzer Prize–winning “Rabbit Hole,” directed by renowned Louisiana talent Mattie Olson, tells the tale of a family outlasting a major loss with elements of comedy flickering through the somber subject matter. Nicole Kidman was recently nominated for an Oscar for a film adaptation of the play, and Ascension’s staging shares the movie’s emotional complexity while swapping in real people for the holograms that take all but a few leading roles in most Hollywood films. Balcony seats unveil the best views in the historic Pasqua Theater.
Onezia indulges lounge lizards with an assortment of premium stogies, top-shelf spirits, and imported beer and wine amid plush leather furniture, plasma TVs, and live music. A custom-made humidor brims with a feast of tobacco logs, including Mike's 1950 Toro ($4.50), Brazilia Samba ($7.50), and Romeo y Julieta Aniversario Churchill ($9), named for Winston Churchill’s love of reciting Shakespearean soliloquies. Puffs pair up with tantalizing tastes of Myer’s Dark rum ($6), Patron Silver tequila ($8), and myriad scotches, whiskeys, and bourbons, including Crown Royal Special Reserve ($9), Dewar’s 12-Year-Old ($8), and Booker’s ($11). Talented barkeeps amalgamate the top-shelf brands to elegantly craft lemon-drop martinis ($7) and manhattans ($6–$9), whereas tropically flavored mojitos ($7) accompany traditional warm-weather activities such as snorkeling or capsizing a paper sailboat. Barley-quenching gullets can revel in the bar’s collection of imported and domestic beers, such as Newcastle Brown Ale ($4), whereas an array of wines nurses fruit-deficient bodies back to health.
Since 2003, Charlie Brown's Family Sports Grill & Bar has paired an extensive menu of grilled sandwiches, steaks, and seafood with a feast for the eyes made up of 25 large flatscreen televisions. The restaurant's buffalo chicken wings come with or without bones, just like the majestic buffalo chickens of yesteryear, and its charbroiled and grilled burgers are piled with enough delicious bacon, cheese, and sautéed mushrooms to distract children from the kids' arcade for a while. Dishes such as fried soft-shell crab and shrimp alfredo offer a seafood angle to the entree list, which also documents chicken-fried steak and 14-ounce rib eyes served, and 8-ounce filets served with with veggies and mashed potatoes. To help guests to wash down hearty meals and salute the local sports memorabilia draped on the walls, the bartenders have composed a long list of beers, specialty drinks, and wines.
When players don their vests, squeeze the handle of their glowing pistol, and enter Laser Tag of Metairie’s neon-lit arena for the first time, one thing is clear: this place does not take laser tag lightly. Capable of hosting up to 44 players at once, the multi-level, futuristic battlefield sets combatants loose among ramps, tight corners, and shadowy corridors ideal for ambushing adversaries or learning to knit in the dark. Each game lasts seven minutes, and the arena’s officials keep a quick pace, making sure when one battle ends, another will soon begin.
The clatter of skee-ball machines drifts from the center’s arcade, mingling with strings of notes from Guitar Hero and sounds from other games. Each machine is equipped with a swipe-card system that tracks players’ credits electronically so they no longer have to measure their self-worth by how many tokens are in their pockets. In addition, guests can test their steering skills in the Spin Zone, a bumper-car area with one quite literal twist: there are two zones on the track that will send cars into a tailspin if drivers attempt to pass over them or park on them to exchange insurance information.