Jimmy's Bar & Grill celebrates a recent facelift and a new sound system tonight with the debut of the weekly Coyote Ugly Ladies' Night. To mark the occasion, club manager Ronnie James will fill several vats with gelatin, where barely dressed chicks will duke it out. "We know people love watching scantily clad girls wrestle in the first place," says James. "Adding some messy Jell-O to the mix just increases the fun. No one is going to get hurt though. Winning and losing are not as important as everyone just having fun."
Between catfights, barmaids will dance to country tunes and serve super-cheap bottles of beer, cocktails and 10-cent chicken wings. Patrons can enter a drawing to score gift certificates. "We gotta lotta shit going on, and we wanted to differentiate ourselves from other ladies' nights all over the city," says James. "We want it to be classy and off the hook, not whorish. We figure that ladies going at it in big pools of Jell-O will probably do the trick." Fun starts at 7 p.m. at Jimmy's Bar & Grill (7865 Plains Rd. in Mentor-on-the-Lake). Admission: free. Call 440.257.4000 or visit jimmysonthelake.com. - Chad Felton
Ohio-made booze and locally grown produce are on the menu at Whole Foods Market's inaugural 5 x 7 weekly social at its University Heights store. Food, wine and beer experts will also be there to field questions about the grub you're eating. "It's like going to a gallery opening," says Jared Earley, the store's mouthpiece. "It's a great way to socialize, meet other people and talk to our specialists. It's a mix-and-mingle kinda thing, where it's not just about the food, but the social atmosphere." The store stocks 1,200 wine and 200 beer selections. Tonight's bash will spotlight Great Lakes Brewing Company's Irish Ale, Hoppin' Frog Brewery's Belgian Ale, Kinkead Ridge's Revelation white wine, South River Vineyard's Pinot Noir and Laurello Vineyard's Cabernet Franc. Chefs will dish out samples of pastas, seafood, meats and fruit salad, while Hal Wyant sets the mood with his vibraphone. "It's going to take the place of after-work happy hours," says Earley. "It's something people can do to start up their Friday nights. That's what's great about the portion sizes. If you're going to dinner afterward, you don't have to order an appetizer. You can get that out of the way here for five bucks." Drink and eat up from 5-7 p.m. at Whole Foods Market (13998 Cedar Rd. in University Hts.). Tickets: $5. Call 216.932.3918 or visit wholefoodsmarket.com. - Cris Glaser CLEVELAND BOAT & WATERFRONT LIFESTYLE EXPO The 10-day Cleveland Boat & Waterfront Lifestyle Expo launches today at the I-X Center, and for the first time in its 52 years, the extravaganza will showcase used watercraft. You can thank the tanking economy for the pavilion of "pre-owned" Sea Rays, Chris-Crafts and Grady-Whites. "Interest in used boats has grown considerably over the past decade," says Ken Alvey, the show's manager. "Consumers looking to get into boating need to start somewhere and are usually able to get more for their money with a used boat. That first purchase often leads to bigger things and a lifetime of fun on the water."
Dealers will also unveil 2009 models - from Alumacrafts and Bayliners to Yamahas and Zodiacs. They'll also raffle off free fishing trips, sunset cruises and Lake Erie island excursions. "There won't be a better time to buy," says Alvey. "Anyone that has any interest in boating should make 2009 the year to check out the show. The deals will be better than they have ever been, and you could even walk away with a free trip on the water." The expo runs from 3-9 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays and noon-9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, through Sunday, January 25, at the I-X Center (6200 Riverside Dr.). Admission: $12. Call 440.899.5009 or visit clevelandboatshow.com. - Charles Cassady Jr.
A native Hawaiian dance troupe heats up the frigid Ohio January at the 5th annual Island Breeze Polynesian Luau. There will even be a "flame twirler" to make bargain hunters at the Hartville Marketplace and Flea Market feel like they're on a Honolulu beach. "He dances with a pole with fire at either end," says spokesman Darrick Boord. "He's far enough back from the people so no one gets hurt. It's some really neat stuff."
The market's 110 vendors of antiques, clothing and produce add to the vibe with island-themed games and raffles in the sprawling 100,000-square-foot complex. "Obviously, this is a slow time of year for shoppers," says Boord. "This brings a lot of people out every year to break up the winter doldrums and make people feel good." The luau runs from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Hartville MarketPlace and Flea Market (1289 Edison St. [St. Rt. 619] in Hartville). Admission: free. Call 330.877.9860 or visit hartvillemarketplace.com. - Glaser Sunday 1.18
Gay bathhouse Flex has added a "café" to its attractions, with a new weekly piano brunch in its second-story theater, bar and kitchen. Manager Scott Simpson has hired a rotating cast of four pianists to serenade diners, with veteran ivory-tickler Moss Stanley tinkling the 88s this morning. "If you like jazz at all, he'll take something like 'Sweet Georgia Brown' and mix it all up," says Simpson. "I honestly spent one Sunday morning sitting at brunch just listening to him because he's awesome-awesome."
As the music plays, Cook Eric and crew dish up Belgian waffles, pancakes, eggs, juice and coffee. The brunch, says Simpson, is a welcome sight to the guys who partied the night before, but got too tanked to go home and slept off their buzzes at the spa. "This is to thank everybody that's here on Saturday night and stays until Sunday morning," says Simpson. "It's just a fun, campy way to give them a little something extra." Chow down from 10 a.m.-noon at Flex Café & Bar (2600 Hamilton Ave.). Admission: $9. Call 216.812.3004 or visit flexbaths.com. - Glaser Monday 1.19
Two-time Olympian Michael Weiss still recalls his near-perfect performance at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 2000, when Cleveland last hosted the competition. This week, the Virginia native will sit in the stands at the Q to relive the moment, while nearly 270 skaters prepare to dazzle the judges for 12 titles in ladies', men's, pairs' and dance divisions. "I remember looking up at 17 members of my family and friends, and saying to myself, 'Please don't screw up this jump,'" says the 32-year-old Weiss, who also bagged top scores at the 1999 and 2003 championships. "When it was over, I saw the standing ovation from the crowd. I got my first 6.0 [score] ever. I skated one of the best performances of my entire life. It was an amazing experience."
In its 94-year history, the competition has been held in Cleveland two other times: in 1940 and 1964. This year, top contenders include defending champs Evan Lysacek in the men's group, Mirai Nagasu in the ladies' category, and Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker in the pairs division And with Clevelander and former Olympic champ Carol Heiss Jenkins as his coach, Connecticut's Parker Pennington will try to stage an upset with a routine of at least three triple axels, lutzes and flips to a Tchaikovsky violin concerto in the men's program on January 25. "There's always some kind of drama that keeps you on the edge of your seat," says Weiss. "This is the most coveted title in figure skating."
The prestige is also good news for Cleveland. Fans from 40 states and as far as Australia have already snapped up tickets. NBC plans to broadcast 11 hours of hi-def action, including the ladies' finals on January 24. Weiss will be in the house to cheer on his successor. "The 2000 championships were one of the greatest moments of my senior years," says Weiss. "This is a great venue. Cleveland is a great skating town. And it's going to be another awesome national championships." Competitors hit the ice at 7:40 a.m. today, 11:20 a.m. tomorrow and Saturday, January 24, noon Wednesday, January 21, 10:50 a.m. Thursday, January 22, 11:45 a.m. Friday, January 23 and 2 p.m. Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena (1 Center Court ). Tickets: $10-$145. Call 216.622.6000 or visit cleveland2009.com. - Glaser Tuesday 1.20
Party girl Sherri Foxman marks "the end of an error" when Barack Obama takes the oath of office today to become the country's 44th president. To celebrate the transition, Foxman will decorate Sammy's at Legacy Village in red, white and blue for tonight's Toodle-Oo W and Howdy-Do Obama inauguration-day party. "People want to say goodbye to Bush as much as they want to say, 'Hello, Obama!'" says Foxman, who runs the Warrensville-based Party 411 event-planning company. "So instead of doing the average inaugural ball, I put something together where people get to blow off their frustrations about the last eight years and, at the same time, celebrate Barack."
After 25 years in business, Foxman has earned a rep for her off-the-wall parties. In 1986 she hosted "Funeral for Casual Sex," just as the AIDS pandemic started to grab headlines. And at 1987's "Safe-Sex Cotillion," she handed out 6,000 condoms.
Tonight, Foxman will invite partiers to sing patriotic songs with a karaoke machine, plaster graffiti on the "We're Going Through the Change" wall in the men's room and pig out at an ice-cream sundae bar, complete with 44 different toppings to honor Obama's place in the presidential lineup. She's even asking folks to record congratulatory YouTube videos and contribute to her "shock and awe" container of bad Bush memories. "Some people might bring their tax returns or a copy of what's left of their 401K," says Foxman. "When I did the funeral for casual sex, one guy walked in with the back seat of his car. There will be a shitload of people there because Cleveland loves this kind of stuff." The new era begins at 6 p.m. at Sammy's at Legacy Village (24723 Cedar Rd. in Lyndhurst). Tickets: $15. Call 216.514.8411 or visit party411.com. - Glaser
Dayton-born comic Mark Fradl has a suggestion for American voters: Don't elect frat boys like Bill Clinton or George Bush as president. "For eight years, we had one that wanted to lay anything that moved, followed by one that wanted to fight anything that moved," says Fradl, who's in town for a pair of shows at the Funny Stop. "I think we need to elect a nerd, because nerds don't know how to fight or get laid. That leaves a lot of time for problem-solving."
Fradl's sets tackle workingman's issues like the economy. He assumes that there will be at least one laid-off worker in the audience. "You people that have houses, investments and retirement plans? You people are screwed," he says. "I have nothing to lose. You can have my Ramen noodles when they pry them from my cold, dead hands." Showtime is at 8:30 p.m. today and tomorrow at the Funny Stop Comedy Club (1757 State Rd. in Cuyahoga Falls). Tickets: $5-$6. Call 330.923.4700 or visit funnystop.com. - P.F. Wilson