It's so ingrained in Fort Lauderdale culture that it's often passed over for being too familiar. Like the palm trees and the art deco, some locals don't give it as much as a second glance. But it's there. It's practically always been there. The Elbo Room spent its 70th summer much the way it did the previous 69: with live music and frosty alcohol. The relic beachside saloon has a long history of spring break shenanigans, but it's matured quite a bit these days. The first floor is reminiscent of Cali's Venice Beach bars where a woody bar — aged by sun and sand and salty air — is home to glassy-eyed travelers with faces as tan as their Sperry Top-Siders. They dawdle, at ease among the black-and-white photos of Fort Lauderdale's olden days and leftover trinkets from Elbo Room's seedy past. The jukebox pumps out '80s hair metal and post-punk favorites by day. Come nightfall, the Elbo Room gets younger. The upstairs bar peels away the hurricane shutters and turns on the college-party charm. The live cover bands rock out on the mini stage to the sounds of Everclear and Green Day and such, and the frozen drinks are handmade, so tip accordingly when you order the rum runner in this otherwise Corona-sipping crowd. Elbo Room, which is at the corner of Las Olas Boulevard and A1A, is about ten paces from the sandy (and largely booze-free) beach and thus an excellent spot to whet your gullet before crossing into the blue.
Get the Music Newsletter
Find out about upcoming concerts and special offers happening in the South Florida music scene.