Best Poolside Bar - 2006
Big Game Bar & Grill
Sorry, folks, no marble-lined, zero-horizon swimming pool here. No toned, tanned, bikini-clad nymphets serving fruity frozen drinks that cost more than a tank of gas. No tapas, no trendoids, no high-tech lighting or European house music on a state-of-the-art sound system. Nope, Big Game is none of that, and so much more. This rustic Lauderdale dive bar sits in the parking lot of an old, nameless motel, and during the day, you're just as likely to find snowbirds drying out by the pool as grizzled barflies buzzing under the tall, shady tiki bar a few steps from it. Hewn out of rough, sturdy wood and draped with dried-out palm fronds, that tiki bar is a true gem, manned by a prompt, no-nonsense staff of stiff-drink makers and veteran small talkers. With fishing trophies arching overhead, a hard-rockin' jukebox, and the telltale sign of a well-stocked bar (that's Jameson, folks -- ask for it by name), Big Game would be a cozy locale full of character and characters no matter where it was located. But throw open the doors to the mint-green pool just outside, imagine the sound of traffic on Federal Highway as the roar of ocean surf, lie back on a piece of well-worn deck furniture with a Bud Light in hand, and know you're taking in a true South Florida landmark.