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Nexus Cinema in West Mobile is a combination sports bar, restaurant and picture show where servers wait on you while you stretch out in a posh recliner and order from a tablet — turning dinner and a movie into dinner with a movie.
Nexus Cinema Dining • 7070 Bruns Drive • Mobile, AL 36695 • 251-776-6570
It brings a whole new meaning to dinner and a movie. Why make more than one stop? That’s exactly the idea behind the relatively new Nexus Cinema in West Mobile just off Cody Road. If you’ve not heard of this theater, it’s a combination sports bar, restaurant and picture show where servers wait on you while you stretch out in a posh recliner complete with retractable TV tray and order from a tablet.
I’d heard of this place and decided to give it a whirl when “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (reviewed in this issue) hit the silver screen.
Lucas was dying to exercise his adolescence and see the PG-13 show, a prequel to the Harry Potter franchise, without his 8-year-old brother in tow. I felt bad leaving Graham at home with his mom, but he was sick and in no shape for public appearances. This was to be a father and eldest-son trip.
To be honest, I occasionally crave the one-on-one time with these boys. It’s the best way to get their true selves to come out. Together they are either busy competing with each other, fighting over nothing or so enraptured with each other they almost leave me out.
On this rare occasion it was me and the big boy looking to stir up some trouble in WeMo. We tried in vain to plan our dinner after searching the internet for their menu. Lucas was reading it to me in the car, but we just couldn’t get a feel for it. We had no idea what to expect when we pulled up early enough to get excellent parking up front and walked through the giant, castlelike doors into a dimly lit cavern with what appeared to be a sports bar, not quite open at 11 a.m.
Our first stop was to select our seats. Tickets cost $33 for the pair. It sounded a little steep to me, but once we were inside we could tell why. I didn’t count the recliners in there but I could tell that our close-knit friends could fill it up. Speaking of recliners, these seats were really good. Almost too good. As the electric motor raised Lucas’s feet and lowered his head just before mine did the same, my teenager, half kidding, said, “Dad, I think I’m going to take a nap.” I was thinking the same thing.
But sleep was not in the cards for the MacDonalds. There was too much excitement for us to waste our time on a few winks. Each chair had an iPad tucked against the armrest with a series of menus. Easily navigable, there was an appetizer section, sides, entrees, beverages and adult beverages plus desserts ready at our fingertips. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew we weren’t in for overpriced candy and a tub of popcorn (though they do have it for you traditionalist moviegoers).
Lucas and I didn’t argue much over what to order. Our first sampling was a serving of Crab Canapés ($7.95). Little phyllo dough cups with a lump crab mixture were hard to see in the dim light of the opening sequence, but tasted a little on the sweet side. Lucas especially enjoyed them.
For some dumb reason we ordered food from one iPad and drinks from the other. Must have been the nervous jitters of not knowing normal protocol, but my son’s tablet was used to order a Sprite ($2.95) and a Kendall Jackson cabernet sauvignon ($5.95). Of course they didn’t confuse the order, bringing his soda first.
Back on my iPad we ordered Nacho Bombs ($5.95), described as “Little balls of nacho addictiveness” on the menu. I had to talk Lucas out of the Mac & Cheese Bites, but he was OK with the bombs.
“They taste like someone took a cheap taco and rolled it into a ball. I mean that in a good way,” said the young man. That’s a pretty accurate description, and I’ll add they were served with a dollop of sour cream.
We were not here to watch Aurors and Death Eaters with health food so we skipped the salad section. There is a page dedicated to sliders, and we paused there. I recall a Turkey Reuben and one with apple slices and bacon, but we settled on the Chicken Cordon Bleu Sliders ($9.95). A good chunk of ham and chicken with the cheese on a Hawaiian Roll was a really good sub-$10 purchase. It’s a nice idea for the slider world.
There was no way we were leaving without Filet Mignon Steak Bites ($15.95). Lucas had his eye on those things before the opening credits. I let him choose medium-rare, though I was a touch suspicious of how these would turn out. They were actually fantastic. Tender and juicy, not like sirloin tips other than in appearance, the filet stood out as the best thing we ate there.
No more drinks or dessert, we threw in the towel. Having the option to pay in the lobby or with the card on the iPad, we chose the lobby.
Maybe you’re wondering, “How was the theater?” There isn’t a bad seat in the whole place and the surround sound is top notch, so we gave it a thumbs up. It can get pricey if you don’t have a handle on things.
With a $10 tip I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $96. That’s a lot for two knuckleheads to chow down at the movies, but had I gone to two separate places it wouldn’t have been too far off the mark for what we got out of it.
Nexus Cinema Dining has a lot going on, with trivia nights, an operational sports bar and even college football — on the big screen! I think it would be a fun way to take in a game and grub. But as a straight-ahead theater it still rocks. This turns dinner and a movie into dinner with a movie. Give it a shot.