Friday, January 20, 2017

10 great places to forge fun

10 great places to forge fun

Nightlife spots are playing off the do-it-yourself trend by inviting partiers to create their fun. Zagat editor Eric Grossman dishes with Rebecca Heslin about haunts that encourage participation.

Stats Sports Bar
“Conveniently located a Hail Mary (pass) from the Georgia Dome and Phillips Arena, this huge bar is a sports fan’s dream thanks to not only the plethora of giant TVs, but because it was the first bar in the USA to feature self-service beer taps,” Grossman says. “Each of the four state-of-the-art ‘beer tables’ feature two personal beer taps, ensuring thirsty fans never have to flag down a server again.” 404-885-1472;

Karaoke Duet 48
New York City
“With 16 private rooms, this establishment lets armchair (American) Idol contestants be the star of their own concert without worrying about performing in front of strangers,” Grossman says. “The encyclopedic song library is updated monthly and includes more than 100,000 tunes in a variety of languages.” Grammy-winning wannabes can also stop by NYC’s Duet 35 for a shameless sing-along. 212-753-0030;

Dan’s Café
Washington, D.C.
“College types, interns and post-grads love Dan’s approach,” Grossman says. “For less than the cost of a couple of cocktails at one of the trendier options down the street, customers get their own small bottle of booze, plus mixers, and make their own drinks.” But what you save in drink costs, you gain in R-rated debauchery as revelers often over-serve themselves. 202-265-0299

New Orleans
The Wine Institute of New Orleans is “an oenophile’s dream. This Warehouse District establishment – a sophisticated respite from the nearby Bourbon Street madness – combines a wine bar, shop and school,” Grossman says. “The main attraction is a state-of-the-art Italian-made wine serving system that, upon inserting a pre-paid store debit card, allows customers to pour an ounce’s taste, or a half- or full glass.” Don’t miss the cheese menu for pairings. 504-324-8000;

Castro Theatre
San Francisco
“Dating back to the 1920s, this historic movie theater – linchpin of the colorful Castro neighborhood – reminds us that not all interactive nightlife options must include alcohol,” Grossman says. “Scores of revelers pack this grande dame for its frequently held singalong nights, where crowds participate by doing their best to keep up with the stars of Grease and Hairspray, among others, on the big screen.” 415-621-6120;