The power of live music to make folks feel good is on full display at a host of Fort Lauderdale night clubs and other venues. If listening to bands and vocalists show off their skills is how you like to spend an evening, whether just for the music or to watch with dinner, you'll find that Fort Lauderdale does things right. Multiple options let you tap into the venues that 10Best readers favor, like America's Backyard or you can get a taste of the city's offerings by visiting places like Mango's on the city's glamorous Las Olas Boulevard and enjoy the live jazz, or perhaps stop at the cozy Shooters. But if it's an electric atmosphere with many options of live music, top-notch restaurants and a chance to play in the casinos, head west to The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, and you will discover these hot spots are not just clustered in the Downtown area. Head to Commercial Boulevard to Satchmo Blues Bar which is known for its classic Blues music. If you find yourself at the beach you're in just the right place. Take in a bit of local history at the amazing Elbo Room at the very popular corner of A1A and Las Olas Boulevard. For the live music lover there is absolutely no shortage of possibilities!
10 Satchmo Blues Bar
Having the same name as the nickname of Louis Armstrong, the great American cornet and trumpet player and jazz singer from New Orleans, Satchmo is a great jazz and blues bar located on Commercial Boulevard just east of I-95. This place has a devoted following in just the short time it has been open. Satchmo Blues Bar features local and touring bands as well as comedy acts from around the country, and knows how to keep people coming back. Also offering a menu of Cajun/Creole American delights from the restaurant downstairs, and offers Happy Hour, late night, live music and private parties. (954-533-0692)
Fabulous views of the water and great live bands attract patrons to this dockside restaurant and bar, flanked with blue umbrellas and patio furniture. And just in case you were wondering: they do offer valet boat parking! Since its debut in 1982, Shooter's is proud of the fact that it has earned a world-wide reputation as a "Gold Coast's Must See" destination. It is well-known for its inviting indoor/outdoor dockside dining, pool and patio, and an endless supply of people-watching as well as scenic boat watching, thrill food lovers as well as boating enthusiasts. In fact, planning to go to Shooters can be synonymous to going to a party. (954-566-2855)
8 Blue Martini
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)
7 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)
6 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)
If you're looking for great live jazz in Ft. Lauderdale, Mango's Restaurant & Lounge is a great choice. Although not technically a club, this local gem right in the heart of the always buzzing Las Olas offers live music every night of the week and many times to a packed house. The selection varies nightly, but many evenings are devoted solely to the smooth, velvety sounds of jazz. Try a specialty drink like the Mango-Lada or Las Olas Lemonade while you enjoy classic renditions and contemporary innovations. Show up a bit early with friends or that special someone and enjoy an amazing meal then an incredible night of incredible music. Indoor and outdoor seating is available. (954-523-5001)
4 The Manor
In the heart of one of the area's most sizzling nighttime hotspots, Wilton Manors, is the acclaimed restaurant, ultra lounge and nightclub, The Manor. In the few years this has been open it has become one of the top stops for those seeking the energy of live music in this city's highly rated night scene, just north of Downtown Fort Lauderdale. Chic and sophisticated, The Manor's Epic Nightclub has DJs spinning a sublime mix of sounds sure to please dancing divas and discerning music lovers alike. Whether they're hosting fashionable theme nights or entertaining stage shows, the club exudes a modern sense of style. VIP booths are available for a more intimate experience. (954-626-0082)
3 Culture Room
The Culture Room is the hot spot to go for concert lovers. Hot, big-name bands with names like Down, Taproot, The Bodeans and The Heavy Pets draw fans from all over South Florida as they take the stage at this neighborhood concert hall. Easily accessible at Oakland Park Boulevard Federal Highway and just a few blocks from the beach, The Culture Room is lined with the very best in sound systems, and artful colored lights illuminate the dark interior, and the spacious, multilevel room provides comfortable furnishings. The bar offers inexpensive drinks and strong service, and a patio is also available. Come early as the place fills up early. (954-564-1074)
2 Americas Backyard
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)
1 Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, just west of Downtown Fort Lauderdale, sizzles every night of the week. This is the place where people flock for classic entertainment, the finest dining venues, unique shopping, a superb hotel, and perhaps a little hope that their dreams will come true in this internationally-known entertainment powerhouse. While it is true that most people come for the glittering casinos and a chance at the big winnings, there's even more exciting things to do here, just ask any of the locals. This amazing multi-faceted entertainment complex houses some the area's best restaurants, a popular comedy club with some of the nation's top comedic names stopping through, the Hard Rock Live music venue, a few great bars and absolutely the best nightclubs. ((954) 327-7625)
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 eight 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.
Read more about Dale Mack here.
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