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.
As one of the nation's leading comedy clubs, Laugh Factory offers stage time to up-and-coming talent as well as some of the most recognizable names in the industry of funny. Guests 18 and older can visit either location to hear hilarious commentaries on life and furniture assembly from a lineup of gifted comedians––past performers include George Carlin, Donald Glover, Tim Allen, and many others who have gone on to run for public office. Click here to view the upcoming schedule for both locations. Seating is first-come, first-served, so plan to show up early to claim a rump repository. In keeping with the Roman custom of having two drinks during every show, Laugh Factory enforces a two-drink minimum in its chuckle theater.
Sip Lounge, inside the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel, is like a city with four distinct neighborhoods. Once guests walk past the lobby's large video wall, they're greeted by rows of wine bottles in the glass-enclosed cellar bookending the bar. Behind it, curtains billow beside a water feature that cascades along the wall like the zero-gravity streams found on the moon. Over in the dining room, large tables accommodate groups for gatherings over a local shrimp cocktail or cheese plate. The living room's plush couches cradle pairs for intimate conversations that can be shared over a glass of wine, a cocktail, or a craft beer.
Outside, the large patio embraces the busy energy of Ocean Boulevard without succumbing to it. Umbrellas, heaters, and glass walls separate its confines from the street's frenzy of beeps, brakes, and Model T hand cranks, and a focal fire pit warms both the temperature and the ambiance. The typical soundtrack of upbeat pop and instrumental music supplements Sip Lounge's live series, which hosts local artists from across Southern California.
With a bar, restaurant, and event space inspired by classic Italian design, Bliss 525 swathes guests in an upscale atmosphere. Arched doorways inside the facility open onto a floating staircase and dining tables with high-backed chairs. At mealtime, plates fill with hearty but healthy Californian fare such as Caribbean pasta, braised short ribs, and bruchetta stuffed chicken.
Each week, Bliss 525 hosts blues, jazz, rock, and soul musicians inside the bar. Guests can pair the melodic notes and tinted hues of sunset on the outdoor patio with selections from Bliss 525's full bar of fine wines, tap beers, and fresh-squeezed cocktails.
The state-licensed certificate courses at Pacific Bartending School provide students with the skills and the resources needed to work behind a bar, regardless of their previous knowledge or experience. In addition to learning how to pour drinks and accessorize them with garnishes or handbags, attendees will study roughly 150 basic cocktail recipes as well as the defining flavors and characteristics of the liquors and liqueurs used to make them. Instructors use audio-visual technology to supplement their lessons, and they keep class sizes small to guarantee every student their own workstation to practice at. Afterward, graduates may attend any of the school's complimentary refresher courses or seek assistance with job placement and resumè writing.