Elvis proved that the sandwich is a perfect partner for rock and roll with his fried peanut butter-banana delicacy, and Tommy's Guitars and Cafe carries on the tradition. Like at any other guitar shop, axes line the walls—ceiling to floor—only hung with handcuffs around the necks. Tommy's buy-and-trade guitar policy makes for an eclectic browse: Vintage guitars like a 1952 Telecaster and limited edition specials like a 1983 U.S. Map (1 of 500) are mixed with your standard Stratocasters, for example, around the perimeter of the store, sometimes overshadowing dinky plaques of Rob Thomas and Mariah Carey. Rickenbacker and Gretsch basses, among others, line the space behind the music counter filled with songbooks and pedals. A stack of amplifiers blocks a path to a lone motorcycle (also for sale) in the storefront, but other rock-and-roll treasures keep you entertained, like a note of appreciation from Tom Petty and a sweet display of Star Wars picks and trading cards on various walls.
The cafe (which offers free wi-fi) is stationed in the middle of the store, and feels just as out of place as the fake palm tree and parrots next to the elevated, four-table seating area. You won't find the King's favorite dish here; Tommy's caters to a more Midwestern crowd with $4 sloppy joes, a $3-foot-long hot dog and, of course, beef and meatball sandwiches. The cafe part of Tommy's also offers subs, burgers (including a pizza and a taco burger), salads and soups. The cafe serves a handful of coffee drinks, and you don't have to be an early-morning rocker to catch breakfast: It's served as long as the shop is open.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Puhala