If your idea of sizzling nightlife includes hitting a bar for drinks and socializing, then our Fort Lauderdale guide is just what you want. And what better thing to do in the city of sun and fun and relaxation. Capitalizing on first-hand experience and extensive research, we've located the best bars in Fort Lauderdale and the immediate area, for hanging out and kicking back. From the long-lived and legendary Elbo Room on A1A and Las Olas Boulevard, to busy and welcoming spots such as The Riverside Market, a hidden gem everyone needs to experience. YOLO, with its laid-back and classy setting. Head just outside of the city for a great evening at the ever-popular Bru's Room Sports Grill in near-by Coral Springs. Looking for more of a diverse crowd? Then it's go to be Rosie's Bar and Grill in Wilton Manors, where the fun just never ends, or just up the street at the Georgie's Alibi. Hey, you're in Fort Lauderdale and everyone knows the party never ends!
Rosie's Bar & Grill
Ft. Lauderdale locals love Rosie's. The atmosphere here is electric day or night. It's here where the locals come to see and be seen, and there's always a party going on. This gay bar's fun, tropical atmosphere, surprising drink specials and delicious food have an irresistible allure. Rosie's hosts happy hour Monday through Friday, but drink specials are available most days. Sunday Funday, a popular favorite, features a DJ and beer buckets all day. Besides marvelous mojitos, Rosie's is known for its wildly whimsical menu and creative burgers that boast names like Rhoda Cowboy and Wilma Breathsink. Convenient valet parking after 5. (954-567-1320)
One visit to Georgie's Alibi and you'll see why it's one of the most popular night spots in Fort Lauderdale that attracts a diverse crowd, especially for its Happy Hour, which is held daily with 2-4-1 until 9 p.m. Day or evening, Georgie's serves up the best sizzling atmosphere with the best music, a winning menu including their award-winning hamburgers, and drinks that include specials including two-for-one happy hour Monday through Friday, as well as the ever-popular Long Island Iced Tea Night. Inside, patrons enjoy a video bar, which often features a VJ spinning playfully popular tunes. There's also a lovely outdoor patio that's ideal for weekday lunch, Sunday brunch, or evening get-together with friends. Georgie's Alibi is probably the most well-known of gay clubs in South Florida, so make it your first stop and see why. (954-565-2526)
Bru's Room Sports Grill
Blu's Room Sports Grill is a popular destination for those who love its lively atmosphere that sizzles with sports enthusiasts and great food. While it may be a regional chain you can't go wrong with stopping in at any one of them. Serving wings and pub fare, Blu's Room Sports Gill is a hit with just the two of you or the entire family. Take advantage of the tropical breezes and sit on the outdoor patio and cheer on your favorite sports team. And should you want to bring the kids, they will love the atmosphere, too! Offered is a kid-friendly arcade in the family dining room. (954-656-8041)
The Elbo Room
This landmark watering hole entered the world spotlight in 1960 with the hit film Where The Boys Are, starring Connie Francis and George Hamilton, making this one of the hottest of beach side attractions, and it soon became the place to see and be seen for generations of springs breakers and a beach vacationers. Enjoy their Reverse Happy Hour from 9-11 p.m. with half-priced select Martinis, such as the Pumpkin, French, spiced Apple, Cosmopolitan or Bartender's Martini. The Elbo Room still attracts throngs of tourists and locals alike to enjoy live music, great drinks, a great second-floor view of the beach and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, and a bit of history. ((954) 463-4615)
YOLO (You Only Live Once)
You Only Live Once, and by this place's name YOLO, you can see why, especially at Happy Hour. It's hard to imagine that in just four short years the amazing Yolo has become the talk of the town. And that's a tough thing to do in Fort Lauderdale. But there is good reason why. Located on the very chic and elegant Las Olas, this beautifully designed night spot and eatery welcomes its patrons in its modern and comfortable setting and presents its delightful lunch menu consisting of delicious starters, soups, sandwiches and specials. And don't rush back to the office before trying their delectable desserts and topped off with your favorite coffee. And remember the restaurant's name is short for You Only Live Once, so enjoy! Happy Hour is M-F 4 p.m.-7 p.m.and $2 off all drinks at the main bar or O Lounge. ((954) 523-1000)
Funky Buddha Brewery
This recently opened hotspot is located north of Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and compliments this up and coming part of the city of Oakland Park, just off Dixie Highway and NE 38th Street (Park Lane East). The Funky Buddha Brewery & Lounge was founded in Boca Raton, Florida in 2010 and became known to the area for its commitment to producing bold craft beers that bring together culinary-inspired ingredients with time-honored technique, offering beers with big, bold flavors and made exactingly with natural ingredients. It is here where they still brew and it is at this location that is still their test kitchen for their more experimental brews. ((954) 440-0046)
The Riverside Market
Go inside and join the party. With tables available lined along a cooler filled with over 550 craft beers, specialty wines and over 50 gourmet sodas (which are especially popular with the kids who join Mom and Dad, or other adults), teas and waters, as well as a lounge area with mixed-matched couches to relax and visit, this can easily become a regular watering hole after the first visit – or even more. With their selection of craft beers available, there is certainly something for everyone. While many people here know exactly what beer they like, this is a great place to frequent for those who are newcomers to the craft beer scene. The Riverside Market prides itself on stocking hard-to-find brews, and rare bottles make frequent appearances. They also support local and every Florida brewed beer that can be found on draft, in a bottle or in a can. Offering twenty drafts in a constant rotation, there are always five locals on at all times. Also available are ten gluten-free beers and over 25 ciders that contain no grain. (954-358-8333)
Blue Martini has earned a reputation as a sleek and sophisticated gathering place for those who know a great thing when they find it. Weekday happy hours, nightly live bands and dancing make this sleek cocktail bar a winner. Try the bar's signature blue martini (a mix of vodka, Cointreau, blue curacao, sweet 'n sour mix and orange juice) or select your favorite martini from a menu of 14. An assortment of appetizers such as sushi, hummus, a steak sandwich martini, seared tuna and even chocolate cake satiate the hungry. Hang out on the outdoor patio, or if you're willing to pay the freight, sip a cocktail under the blue skylight in the VIP lounge. Located at the upscale Galleria, Blue Martini is a wonderful stop after hours, after shopping or for an exceptional night out. (954-653-2583)
Blue Jeans Blues
Hot but cool, sophisticated yet casual. This is what this unique jazz club says about itself and for good reason. Fort Lauderdale's Blue Jeans Blues is one of those places that will make you wonder why you had never been there before. Perfect for Happy Hour 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. everyday. Jazz lovers find this club's laid-back yet distinctively cosmopolitan setting near perfect. Exposed brick walls and cozy seating offer the ideal backdrop for live jazz and blues scores, performed seven nights a week and during brunch on the weekends. In addition to creative cocktails, bold brews and an alluring wine list, the club offers a delightful menu featuring appetizers like tuna tartar and baked brie, as well as fresh sandwiches and specialty pizzas. (954-306-6330)
Join the others in America's Backyard for South Florida's largest outdoor party. Located in the very happening Downtown Fort Lauderdale, America's Backyard is the place to go for its fun and playful setting, and the ideal location for your next party or group gathering. Just call to book your event. Also, everyone is invited to get on their guest list. Plan a great night with friends at America's Backyard and by being on the guest list you get a complimentary cover and one free drink upon arrival. You just can't beat that! Ask about their 99-cent Drink Specials, and be sure to stop by for their Country Power Happy Hour! (954-449-1025)
About Dale Mack
Dale Mack has been involved in Fort Lauderdale tourism and promotions for over twenty years. Working for Travelhost Magazine in Dallas, Texas, he was especially drawn to the edition published by the Fort Lauderdale Associate Publisher; the city's beauty, its energy and the fun-in-the-sun atmosphere. When an opportunity came to relocate to Fort Lauderdale by another company, Dale accepted. He has spent the last eleven years discovering "the Venice of America" and South Florida itself.
Dale is the author of three children's books and numerous articles. He has also worked as a copywriter for the South Florida real estate market.
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