Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
At Tokyo Shabu Sushi Restaurant, sushi masters slice up delicate sashimi and handrolled maki while chefs put flame to chicken katsu, teriyaki steak, and umami udon noodle soups. But the crew also takes their flavors a step beyond the offerings of many other Japanese restaurants. The menu has a knack of blending Japanese and western influences, as seen in teriyaki-style New York strip steak and a creamy cheesecake dessert made with earthy green tea. Potent sake cocktails and frosty Japanese beers go with just about any dish and help visitors work up the courage to perform their spoken-word versions of "Purple Rain" during weekend karaoke.
Roy Strassman has dedicated more than 30 years of his life to helping people live fulfilling, pain-free lives. Although Roy can use a lighter massage technique to ease his clients' suffering, his chosen treatment modality is Hellerwork—a bodywork system that uses deep-tissue pressure to promote proper alignment among the muscles and joints. This pressure can do more than just relieve the tension caused by stress-laden muscles. It can also help increase flexibility, improve posture, and reenergize clients while contributing to a balanced sense of holistic well-being for the mind as well as the body.
The oenophiles at Napa Valley Toffee Company satiate cravings for local flavors with tastings of Napa-produced wines and luscious homemade chocolates. Synchronized sippers can indulge in a hodgepodge of five red and white nectars, each harvested from Napa-grown grapes, bottled by local wineries, and approved by the California Raisins. Though wine flights vary by tasting, guests can expect to nourish their palates with gulps from small case lots and nibbles from local vendors, such as Napa Farmhouse 1885, and Verve Coffee of Santa Cruz. Before heading home to wash off purple handlebar mustaches, sippers can treat themselves to $20 worth of goodies from the shop, where bottles of 2009 sauvignon blanc ($20) and Rescue Red ($15) hobnob with eight-ounce boxes of house-made chocolates ($11) and Drink the Leaf loose-leaf tea.
Husband and wife team and dog enthusiasts Dan and Catarina Callen founded Barka Lounge as a place for dogs to exercise, socialize, and get spruced up comfortably and safely. An indoor, climate-controlled facility, Barka Lounge greets pups with a completely cage-free environment, as well as spacious areas in which to play during daycare and longer stays. Staff remains on duty at all times, and extended weeknight and weekend hours cater to owners with busy schedules.
The Original Pepperbelly's attracts nationally known comedians from film and television, slaying mature audiences with expertly sharpened wits. Home to the ghosts of famous comics such as Dana Carvey and Louie Anderson, Pepperbelly's maintains its reputation as a comedy hub by stuffing its schedule with standup veterans who extort more chuckles than gangsters armed with semiautomatic whoopee cushions. Upcoming showcases include 3 Blonde Moms, comprised of television comediennes Joanie Fagan, Kat Simmons, and former Miss California and Desperate Housewives guest star Donna Cherry, who riff on the foibles of modern matriarchy from August 26–28. From September 16–18, "World's Funniest Cop" Michael Mancini unleashes the law-upholding laughs that sent gallons of milk spewing down Jay Leno's chin, and from September 30 to October 2, Damon Williams struts the comic chops that commandeered Showtime at the Apollo and earned honorary knighthood from The Kings of Comedy.