One of the best ways to thaw out from a long, cold winter is to go someplace hot.
Welcome to North Fayette.
That's where you'll find Latitude 40, a relatively new entertainment venue that offers everything from bowling, arcade games and a sports bar to live comedy and dancing.
And that's just tonight.
"We consider ourselves 360 degrees of endless entertainment," said general manager Bob Wolfinger.
Latitude 40, which opened in a former furniture store in November, occupies 650,000 square feet. Located at The Point, on Quinn Drive near the Wal-Mart, it might not sound like a temperate zone, but it's the perfect climate for fun.
Post-Gazette writer Alex Zimmerman visited last month and described it as "Chuck E. Cheese's meets Dave & Buster's as a big-box store Russian nesting doll."
It's part of a national chain run by Latitude Global Inc., based in Jacksonville, Fla., that bills itself as the "future of family entertainment centers." Each venue is named for the lines used to mark how far north or south a place sits from the equator.
Mr. Zimmerman said Latitude Global, whose founder and CEO Brent W. Brown is a 1987 Montour High School grad, opened its first concept venue in Jacksonville in 2011. In addition to Pittsburgh's, a new site has opened in Indianapolis (Latitude 39) and another will soon open in Chicago (Latitude 42).
Latitude 40 gives people a market-tested and consistent experience that is a little bit more exciting than what can be found at more middle-of-the-road competition.
"We're an all-ages venue," Mr. Wolfinger said. "We see a lot of families, but on Friday and Saturday nights we also become a nightclub."
The family focus is downstairs, where you'll find the restaurant -- the 360 Grille -- with the TVs, the arcade and 12 bowling lanes.
Upstairs there are 12 more bowling lanes, a second kitchen, a theater and a bar with a stage and dance floor.
"We're fortunate we have two levels here," Mr. Wolfinger said. "Jacksonville and Indianapolis don't. We really like the design."
Tonight in the 250-seat theater are stand-up comedians John Evans and Post-Gazette writer Gene Collier. They get started at 8 p.m. and the admission is $15.
The band is No Bad JuJu, a local pop favorite you might have seen Downtown, when they performed at Light-Up Night, and numerous clubs and festivals.
Mark Matteo, who plays guitar and shares lead vocal duties with Sabrina DeMatteo, started the eight-piece band 10 years ago.
"We play covers and original songs, depending on the crowd," he said. "With dance crowds, we tend to play more covers because they want to hear what they know. But we slip in some songs off our new CD, to try to wean people from the old stuff."
Mr. Matteo said the group is loving the new club.
"It gets crazy in there," he said of Latitude 40. "It's caught on quickly, and it seems once we start playing, people get out and start dancing. It's an amazing phenomena."
"They are one of our top two bands," Mr. Wolfinger said. "Great energy, great excitement. They play top hits, upbeat music. They pack the house. When they play, the dance floor is packed. We've actually booked them for New Year's Eve already."
But you don't have to wait that long. They'll be on stage at 9 p.m. and the cover is only $5.mobilehome - neigh_west - music
If you have a suggestion for something to do some evening, let us know about it and we'll see if we can get some of our friends to join you. Contact Dan Majors at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1456. This story originally appeared in The Pittsburgh Press. To log in or subscribe, go to: http://press.post-gazette.com/