The Strip on Wilton Manors Sizzles with South Florida's Best Gay Bars
By Dale Mack
Fort Lauderdale Local Expert
Wilton Manors, Florida is known locally as the Island City. Just north of Downtown Fort Lauderdale, this is the epicenter of gay life in all of South Florida, and is proud to be home to the majority of bars, restaurants and other businesses geared toward gays and owned by gays. No matter what has brought you here, whether for a vacation in the sun or a gay cruise, take time to get to know Wilton Manors and the surrounding area and enjoy what it has to offer. Probably the most popular bars is Georgie's Alibi and it's adjoining Manchester Room. This bar and grill offers something for everyone from a packed-house bar to an outside restaurants to enjoy their award-winning burgers, to the classy Manchester Room with its intimate setting and popular live shows. Right across the street is one of the newer bars in town, The Village Pub. With great outside seating this is the best spot in town for people watching and to absorb the atmosphere. Further east on Wilton Drive is yet another new bar that arrived on the scene not long ago. Rumors Bar & Grill has an emerging fan base and quickly becoming the talk of the town. Fan of country music? Go to Scandals Saloon. It will get your toes to tapping, for sure. Sports fan? Sidelines is just for you. And if you want that personal touch head to Mona's on Sunrise. No matter what your personal taste there is something for everyone. Enjoy!
Mona's Cocktail Lounge
Mona's cocktail lounge is a fun night spot that draws a faithful following and has for many years. Located outside of the regular "strip" in Wilton Manors, Mona's unique location right on Sunrise Boulevard next to the railroad tracks gives this place an out-of-way unique and exclusive feel. The fun and welcoming staff make Mona's a true experience with a brand new show every week which, they say, will not disappoint, and coming soon will be Sundays Sunset Movie Night which will be on their huge 8-foot screen and free popcorn. Offering your favorite beer and cocktails, Mona's is a must-stop while you're in town. (954-525-6662)
Tropics Restaurant and Piano Bar
One mainstay that has become a tradition in Wilton Manors is Tropics Restaurant Piano Bar. Named the longest running gay and lesbian restaurant and bars in America for its 19 years of serving patrons, this place offers a variety of specials in a fun and classy atmosphere every night of the week, which seems to make every day a weekend. Happy Hour is 2 for 1 all brands until 9 p.m. daily. Plan to come by for Sunday Brunch. With carving and omelette stations with a set price including one complimentary Mimosa or Bloody Mary, or Sunday Evening Buffet which includes soup, salad and dessert. Tuesdays offers a buy one get one free, and make room for Wednesdays for its mouth-watering Prime Rib Night. Tropics is also open Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., and outside dining is available. (954-537-6000)
Sidelines Sports Bar
For the gay sports enthusiast, Sidelines Sports Bar is waiting for you. While there may not be a lot of sports bars that cater to the gay crowd, Sidelines has a huge following who pack the house to the seams. This smoke-free bar has 16 flat screen TVs, three pool tables, 3 three dart boards, Wi-Fi access, Buzztime Trivia and Texas Hold 'Em Poker along with other video games. Located right on the very popular and always active Wilton Drive, this favorite night spot proudly proclaims that this is "Where Sports Comes First", and why not? Great cozy outdoor seating in the alley. Look for their ads in the local gay publications or go online to see a list of games shown at the bar, put on your favorite sports team's jersey and come on in, get your favorite drink and join in on the fun. ((954) 563-8001)
Infinity Lounge is, indeed, a luxurious addition to the many watering holes within blocks of what is known as the Strip. Just steps from the sizzling plaza that houses Georgie's Alibi and Boom, as well as eateries and the relaxing coffee shop, Java Boys, stepping into this lounge is a calming experience, and even a world apart from the playful and packed houses Wilton Manors is known for. Join your friends, or make new ones, order your favorite cocktail or glass of wine in this relaxing setting or step just outside and sit at one of the provided tables, and watch the fascinating passers-by and take in the hum of activity on the strip, which is just a bit quieter here. ((754) 223-3619)
Located at the always hip and happening Wilton Manors on The Drive in the heart of this diverse island city, Hunters exudes passion and energy as they serve up quality drinks, dancing and daily entertainment which attracts a predominantly gay clientele. This is the place to be for those who enjoy Karaoke, whether participating or cheering on the singers, country and western dancing and cabaret. Happy Hour is 4-9 p.m. every night except for Friday which is until 9:30 and Sunday from noon-9 p.m. Check out their website for daily drink specials. Come and join the fun and meet the regulars -- and even become one, too! (954-630-3556)
Everyone's a fan of some boot scootin' boogie, and when you combine Country Western with a fabulous gay bar you get Scandals Saloon. The Ft. Lauderdale gay community loves this bar's scene. On Monday and Tuesday nights, patrons can head here for lighthearted line dancing lessons starting at 7 pm, and by 9 pm the floor is open to everyone. Friday through Sunday, Outlawz DJs spin popular tunes, filling up the dance floor in true hoedown fashion. The daily happy hour runs from noon to 9pm, except on Sunday when it runs all day. So put on your Stetson hat, your jeans and cowboy boots and come on down for the best of the west. Yee haw! (954-565-3084)
Bill's Filling Station
Located right in the heart of Wilton Manors along what is known as the Strip, is Bill's Filling Station. This Wilton Manors hot spot boasts countless bars and clubs, but Bill's Filling Station is a real standout for its laid-back atmosphere and amazing drink specials and oh-so-fine people watching. Monday through Friday from 2 pm until 9 pm, patrons enjoy tasty two-for-one cocktails, and Thursday nights feature thirst-quenching $3 Long Island ice teas. Events throughout the week include karaoke, live piano music and various stage shows, keep the crowds coming, and there's also a dance floor, pool tables and darts. Plenty of parking out back. (954-567-5978)
Rumors Bar & Grill
Rumor has it that Rumors Bar and Grill in Wilton Manors, South Florida's premier gay community, just north of Downtown Fort Lauderdale is fast becoming one of the city's favorite watering holes. Located on the very happening Wilton Drive, just west of the busy Five Points, the crowds have been gathering here since it recently opened. What appears to be a small bar from the outside proves large enough to accommodate the growing number of patrons. Founded from a desire to be involved in the local community, the owners of this establishment have created a warm atmosphere and a friendly service with the best drinks and a great menu that's already gaining a stellar reputation. Plan to dive in to the great menu items that already have a loyal following. From flame grilled burgers to delectable sandwiches, wraps, soups and salads, wings and a list of finger foods. (954-565-8851)
New on the bar scene on the sizzling Wilton Drive, Village Pub compliments the nightlife here with another venue. Perfect to stop while touring the many bars on the strip. With a two-for-one Happy Hour Monday-Sat until 9 p.m., guests can take advantage of the 400-foot dance floor or the open air patio and watch the lively activity of Wilton Drive and the passers-by. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy their favorite games in The Pub Bar, and join the excitement of live shows at The Stage Bar. The perfect place to relax and join friends, or meet new friends and soak in the unique ambiance that this city is so famous for. Free Wi-Fi available. (754-200-5244)
One visit to Georgie's Alibi and its adjoining Manchester Room and you'll see why it's one of the most popular gay clubs in Fort Lauderdale. 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)
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 nine 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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