City Sports Grille is too inviting for just one bar. That's why there are two. Beneath the blue glow of more than 25 high-definition TVs, the Bristol location bustles with the friendly din of diners and drinkers. Meanwhile, the golden interior of the Vernon location bathes each patron in welcoming warmth augmented by the sounds of the day’s sports highlights. Both pubs feature a similar menu of pub-friendly grub, including chargrilled pizzas and flatbreads, half-pound burgers, and wraps that lovingly embrace hunger before utterly defeating it. Each location hosts special events on most nights, including karaoke on Thursdays and free pool on Wednesdays in Bristol and Wednesday trivia and live music on Saturdays in Vernon.
Although it may have fallen out of Top 40 rotation in the 70 years since it was sung by a burger-shop owner’s barbershop quartet, the song “When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)” lives on in the legacy of a Seattle-based burger joint. The Red Robin franchise has spread its wings far and wide, now serving locations throughout North America with sustainably grown, environmentally conscious burgers and sides that marry classic American flavors with savory twists such as onion straws or bruschetta. Most of the shop’s fire-grilled burgers, chicken sandwiches, and entrees come with a side of bottomless steak fries, allowing patrons to soak up the juicy Whiskey River barbecue sauce, melted blue cheese, and edible fedoras that top the menu’s varied eats. The staff are happy to help patrons pair their sandwiches with one of the full bar’s microbrews or specialty mixed drinks, keeping glasses filled while athletic superstars battle it out on the eatery's big-screen TVs.
For more than four decades, one family has passed down the tradition of crowd-pleasing pizzas, grinders, and pastas. Hartford Road Pizza owner Greg Procaccini claims the honor of the pizza-making paterfamilias from both his father and his uncle Mike, who recently retired after a long career of Italian cookery at Hartford Road’s affiliate, Gino’s Pizza. Greg continues his family’s proud tradition with plates of stuffed-shell pasta, tender veal parmigiana, and pizzas crowned with toppings such as hamburger, anchovies, eggplant, ricotta, and pineapple. Each meal stays as close to home as possible, with hearty grinders and saucy meatballs sourced from local meats when available, and traditional dishes such as the housemade pasta fagioli soup made from time-tested family recipes.
During the sweltering summer of 1984, former Philadelphia firefighter Bob Tumolo decided to open the first Rita's Water Ice, naming it after his wife. The specially formulated treat fueled Rita's growth, expanding the family-run business to more than 500 franchised locations nationwide. Despite the incredible expansion, each Rita's stays true to the company's origins by mixing their Italian ice according to Bob's original recipe. Their most famous dessert, the Gelati, features layers of his signature Italian ice between two giant dollops of custard, combining flavors such as mango with vanilla or introducing recently emigrated Swedish fish to vanilla or chocolate. Rita's also promotes community awareness with regular fundraisers for organizations such as Relay for Life.
Each Wood-N-Tap restaurant’s kitchen serves a menu of casual American food that ranges from burgers and sandwiches to pasta, pizza, and entrees. The eatery partners with farms from New Jersey to Maine to cultivate 100% all-natural meats for their homegrown burgers, which feature tender hormone-, steroid-, and antibiotic-free meats such as Wagyu beef, bison, free-range turkey, and pork. Chefs grill entrees including swordfish and bourbon-marinated grilled sirloin, as well as signature items such as mac ‘n’ cheese pizza and Bar Bites sliders constructed with bison, Angus beef, turkey, or a baseball.
Wood-N-Tap blossomed from the fitting combination of its owners’ skills—Mike scouts the locations, Phil markets the brand, and Wil and Kenny manage the daily operations of the various locations. More than a decade ago, after forging a friendship as strong as oak and a partnership as strong as steel-reinforced oak, the crew opened the first Wood-N-Tap location in 2002—and they have expanded to seven locations and counting.
Housed in a transformed 1880’s paper mill, The Adams Mill bears the name of international paper extraordinaire Peter Adams. Today, the multilevel red-brick building is a spacious restaurant, pub, and banquet facility, inviting guests to dine on appetizers such as baked brie, crab cakes, or fried calamari amid those exposed-brick walls. Diners can move on to light entree salads—such as waldorf or cobb—or sample fish and chips, burgers, buffalo-chicken wraps, or other upscale pub classics. Other entrees include teriyaki chicken, 12-ounce new york sirloins, or baked shrimp stuffed with a meta filling of shrimp, scallop, and crabmeat. The restaurant also offers gluten-free selections such as steamed salmon and pan-seared chicken, as well as vegetarian options such as vegetable risotto and zucchini parmesan. And if you’re at Adams Mill during a big game, feel free to grab a seat at the bar, where there are several flat-screen TVs.