8Eightyeight Cigar Merchants serves delectable libations and cultivates cigar-chomping camaraderie within a private facility that fuses elements of a cigar lounge, pool hall, and sports bar. The club's massive walk-in humidor houses brand-name cigars for members to puff away on while monitoring news and sports such as pay-per-view UFC fights on a cluster of flat-screen TVs arranged in front of comfy leather chairs or while shooting pool within the white-brick billiards room. In addition to members-only cigar and alcohol tastings, 8Eightyeight Cigar Merchants hosts a plentitude of private fundraisers, corporate events, and parties for Groucho Marx enthusiasts.
Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn’t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were “quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,” according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face—that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews—and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front—though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.
Though a sports bar at heart—the walls are lined with flat-screen TVs tuned to football and basketball games—Sammy’s Bar & Grill’s dark wood tables and a natural stone accent wall give the dining room an upscale feel. There’s even a heated outdoor patio with a stone fountain and a sculpture of a lion drinking beer with his pinkie out. In addition to traditional burgers, sliders, and wings, diners can also feast on Southwestern and Italian specialties including sizzling fajitas and flatbread pizzas. Behind the bar, mixologists serve up a full selection of spirits, California wines, and bottled beers, plus a dozen brews on tap including local finds.
At the heart of Pepz Pizza and Brew House lies its owners' passion for bettering the community through outreach and service. They show their neighborhood love not only through fundraisers and discounts for the star student, but also with an atmosphere warmer than the sun’s feelings for coconut-scented tanning oil. The pizzeria's hefty menu gives diners loads of options, from specialty pizzas including the vegetarian and a chorizo-topped Mexican-style pie, to crisp salads tossed with barbecue dressing and chicken breast. Pasta, sandwiches, and the house secret-recipe "broasted" chicken hold their own on the menu to the unbridled admiration of second-string dishes at pizzerias everywhere. Once meals have wrapped up, parents can kick back and catch some TV as kids horse around in the arcade and game area.
A silence settles over the typically boisterous bar as eyes fixate on the TV set, where the ball hangs in midair before carrying over the fence, falling through the hoop, or landing in the arms of a receiver. Before long, the silence explodes into cheers, and glasses clink together as more rounds of beer make their way to the tables.
This is a common scene at Happy’s Grille, where sports fans of all stripes and allegiances assemble to watch games while savoring 50-cent appetizers, hearty pub sandwiches, and domestic and premium beers. The nightly crowd lingers long after the final buzzer Thursday–Sunday, when DJs spin danceable hits and live bands rile up the crowd with guitar solos, thumping bass lines, and melodic recitations of the game’s play-by-play broadcast. Open seven days a week, Happy’s Grille keeps midweek crowds entertained with live karaoke and, of course, numerous televised sporting events.
With 36 lanes—all with bumper capabilities—Oak Tree Lanes can accommodate kid and adult parties, groups of friends, and professional bowlers at once. Just steps away from the lanes, the younger crowd finds an arcade flashing with electronic distractions, and for adults a two-story sports bar plays up to five different games at once. Men and women of a certain—that is, 21 and older—can pop the caps off of more than two dozen kinds beer and sample nachos, pizzas, and burgers. During breaks from tossing or petting bowling balls, guests can exercise their hand-eye coordination with rounds of pool and darts, or retreat to the private party area on the second floor.