The Gamut Classic Theatre: Local Theatre
Like a lot of cities, Harrisburg has its own Shakespeare Festival. Unfortunately, they only do about three plays a year and only run for a few weeks. In Feburary of this year, they put on the Oracle...currently they have the "Shakespeare in the Park" (not on the scale of NYC's)--"A Midsummer Nights Dream" FOR FREE each evening until late June. In the fall, they will be putting on "The Tempest" Tickets are only $15.00 for the shows in the theatre. In High School when we were rehearsing for an Edward Albee play, we went down here to see a performance. I can't recall what it was right now, but I remember it being good:)
Dress Code: Well, if on Broadway anything goes, then it surely does here. For the outdoor performances, I recommend wearing something to protect yourself from mosquitos.
- Arts and Culture
Noma (or NOMA:Remixed) is an upscale martini bar along Second Street downtown with loud music and numerous plasma TVs showing psychedelic graphics. We stopped in for a few beers, enjoyed looking at the waitresses and chatted with the bartender.
The bar has numerous "nebulizers" called AWOL (not the military's absent without leave, rather "alcohol without liquid") that you supposedly pour a shot into and inhale the vapor. Only $299 plus shipping and you can have one for your home or office. A 2-person "industrial strength" commercial AWOL machine will run you just $2595. What a scam.
The name Noma supposedly means "North of Market" (Street) kind of a cheap ripoff of SoHo (South of Hollywood in Hong Kong and SoMa (South of Market) in San Francisco).
Beers start around $3 and mixed drinks are $5. They do have some classy bathrooms.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Midtown Cinema: Independent film lives here
This small three-screen theater is the best thing about living in Midtown. They have the greatest selection of independent films, along with good ice gream and a selection of teas and coffees.
Dress Code: Irrelevant
The Red Door: For a chill atmosphere and good glass of wine
A wine bar situated in the heart of downtown Harrisburg. Featuring an array of wines (both in varietal and price), liquor, surprisingly cheap beer, and the best bartender (Hannah), and waitress (Amy) this side of the Mississippi. This is a nice place to sit for the night and sip wine with a few friends, or a cozy spot just for two.
Dress Code: If it feels right, I say do it.
Cafe' Fresco: So-Cal...so-cool
This cafe is definitely the hip place to be in Harrisburg. A bar/restaurant almost too trendy for Harrisburg, not because here you'll run into Franco Harris at this place but because its like no other bar in the area, servers look like they were brought in from southern california and the furnishing of the place offers a modern twist that other establishments in harrisburg fail to meet (cough...hmm...Noma...cough).
The sangria is very tasty (limoncello is the secret) and the food is good.
Not the cheapest place to enjoy your drinks but the atmostphere is pretty chill with weekend live jazz and modern decor.
Dress Code: The only code in this place is no backward hats.
Molly Brannigan's is a small chain of Irish pubs with 4 locations in Pennsylvania plus one in Vegas and another in Mesa, AZ. We didn't eat here, but they have a very extensive menu with seafood, steaks, a variety of salads, sandwiches, potato pancakes called boxty, and various Irish specialties. We did have a few pints of Guinness after dinner, then came back around midnight for a few more... The evening crowd is older and pretty quiet, but the late night crowd is young and loud.
Happy hour is from 5-7pm when drinks are $1 off. Saturday nights have a DJ.
The interior of the bar was designed and built in Ireland, giving it a very authentic feel.
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
- Road Trip
Bourbon Street Saloon
Not really a saloon and not much like Bourbon Street, the Bourbon Street Saloon is a popular college hangout in the center of the Second Street bar & restaurant area of downtown Harrisburg. It is on the corner surrounded by Molly Brannigan's.
Though I didn't eat here, they have a limited selection of inexpensive items,mostly sandwiches. They also have Texas hold-em tournaments several times a week.
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
Eclipse: Dances with wolves...
OK so there are no wolves and this isn't a place where you necessarily have to feel threatened but then again little red riding hood din't feel threatened either and there is definitely no brave hunter to save you here.
Kidding aside, harrisburg does not excel when it comes to dance clubs and Eclipse is a fine excuse if what heppens when you don't have any competition in nightclubs. Its a two floor extravaganza of tedious nothingness, accompanied by boring music.
Other than that...have a blast!!!
Dress Code: I've gotten in here in hoodies and shorts so I'd say that there isn't much of one.
Cafe Fresco: Smoke-free hip
Cafe Fresco is the only spot in town (so far) that is completely non-smoking. It is a great counter-point to a lot of the other loud, raucous downtown establishments.
We like to go when there isn't a band, so we can sit in one of the front tables against the wall, people watch and share an amazing appetizer of the asian dumplings or split an entre like the pan-seared salmon over farfalle pasta. The wine menu is well thought out and, we think, underpriced by the glass or bottle. If there is a band (most often a jazz trio) we sit in the back where it is a little quieter, back by the wall of candles.
Oh, and they make the best mohitos this side of Mangia Qui.
If you are looking for good food, good drinks and great atmosphere with wonderful people serving you--Cafe Fresco is the place!
Dress Code: Casual
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
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