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Wednesday, April 14,2010

BEST HANGOUTS

by City Pulse

Coffee shop:

Gone Wired
Runners-up: Soupspoon Cafe, Espresso Royale and Decker's


Spread out over two levels, Gone Wired manages to feel both intimate and spacious, depending on where you sit. Coffee is always brewing, but the cafe also features an assortment of teas and tisanes (try a combination of the red raspberry leaf and lemonfruit), as well as breakfast items, sweets, sandwiches and more. There’s a “genuineness” to the place, says assistant manager Brian de Vries, adding, “There’s a sense of community with the customers; I feel like they’re my friends. I feel like I’m presiding over a giant living room — and I feel great about that.” 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. (517) 853-0550.



Dance scene:

Green Door Blues Bar & Grill
Runners-up: Spiral, Harem


If live music, good food and a relaxing atmosphere are your favorites in a dance bar, then The Green Door is for you. With live bands six nights a week, there is bound to be something for your ears. 2005 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. (517) 482-6376.



Happy hour:

Peanut Barrel
Runners-up: Houlihan's, Green Door



Gay/Lesbian bar:

Chrome Cat
Runners-up: Spiral, Green Door




Karaoke:

Crunchy's

Runners-up: Irish Pub, Grand Cafe


Test out your skills three nights a week (Thursday-Saturday) at Crunchy’s. Take it seriously or just let the force be with you. 254 W. Grand River Ave., East Lansing. (517) 351-2506.




Movie theater:

NCG Eastwood
Runners-up: Celebration! Lansing, Goodrich Lansing Mall


Not only did NCG Eastwood come out on top in this category, it was the biggest vote-getter in the entire Top Of The Town survey, pulling in an eye-popping 659 mentions. That makes manager Graham Davidson feel like he and his staff are accomplishing their mission. “Our main focus is to strive to provide good customer service,” Davidson said, “especially in these economic times when people who can’t afford to take vacations bring their families to the theater for a little escapism.” The theater features digital projection on all 18 of its screens, and four of the theaters are equipped for 3D. In between the usual promotional standees for “Iron Man 2” and other upcoming blockbusters, you’ll find an array of aquariums, provided by Preuss Pets, which give the cinema a slightly exotic look. Where else can you munch popcorn and watch a tank full of poison dart frogs? 2500 Showtime Drive, Lansing. (517) 316-9100.



Open mic:

Dagwood's
Runners-up: Chrome Cat, Green Door


For six years now, the Open Mic Night at Dagwood’s has drawn big crowds with a variety of musicians. It is held every Tuesday night in a cool, laid-back atmosphere where anybody might show up, from a local music group to an 80-year-old man telling jokes. 2803 E. Kalamazoo Street. (517) 374-0390




Place to be seen:

Old Town
Runners-up: Golden Harvest, Wharton Center


With its
small-time shops and restaurants and authentically quaint downtown look, Old
Town is definitely a place you want to be seen. That a person knows about this
bustling nook of Lansing is bragging rights enough. Show off the sights and
sounds of this area to your friends, and it will surely become a place they
want to be seen in the future.




Place to meet singles:

Dublin Square
Runners-up: Old Town, at school


This is one a person has to
check out for himself/herself. Perhaps it is a matter of taste whether you
think Dublin Square has the best-looking staff, but the votes reveal this pub
tends to everyone’s tastes. And when it comes to sitting down and enjoying some
food and drink, a little eye candy never hurt anyone. 327 Abbott Road. East
Lansing MI 48823. (517) 351-2222.




Pub/tavern:

Irish Pub
Runners-up: Peanut Barrel, Dagwood's




Sports Bar:

Tripper's
Runners-up: Nuthouse, Champp's




Weeknight hangout:

Green Door
Runners-up: Schuler Books, Gone Wired




WiFi spot:

Gone Wired
Runners-up: Biggby, Panera Bread


“It’s a real laid-back, indie-coffeeshop atmosphere,” says assistant manager Brian de Vries of Gone Wired, which offers free WiFi and plenty of space in which to use it. So students working on reports or professionals working on projects need not worry about getting the hairy eyeball from the staff if they stay longer than 30 minutes — although the Gone Wired crew certainly won’t complain if you buy a drink or a snack (or a meal) to give you a little extra energy while you work. 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. (517) 853-0550.


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