Night Watch: Chit-Chat's Bar
651 N. Federal Highway, Pompano Beach
Call 561-943-1631, or visit here.
Walking through the door of Chit-Chat's, amid the shaking booties,
South Florida Symphony: Masterworks II Order by Disorder
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Daniel Zamir Quartet
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Ladysmith Black Mambazo
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flowing beer, and general raucous exuberance, you will notice one thing:
It is extremely difficult to chit-chat while at Chit-Chat's.
On a recent Saturday night, this was because the band, Excess, was
covering everyone's favorite hits. (That's right, everyone's, 'cause
seriously, who doesn't love Bon Jovi and Journey? Especially Bon Jovi.)
Women swiveled their hips as they toasted over buckets of beer. The
oblong bar had exactly zero empty swivel stools. A ponytailed cowboy
secured his hat in a chair and whisked his tube-topped lady friend
across the small dance floor. The bar was dark, casual, and lively; it
had a good, smoky feel to it.
Sherry, who sat at the bar laughing with friends and updating her Facebook page, is the blond bombshell in charge of this hidden hot spot.
"I'd card you in a New York minute," she told me when I attempted and failed to be taken seriously.
"Hey!" she leaned in and yelled across the bar. A petite blond bartender with large doe eyes responded immediately.
"Would you card this girl?" the owner asked.
The bartender blinked at me. "Um, yes." I flashed my I.D.
"You go home and hug your momma for giving you those youthful looks!" Sherry said to me, chuckling. The bartender scurried off.
"Is this bar new?" I asked her this because I'd never seen it. It's slightly obstructed from the view of Federal Highway, but I'd never even heard of the place till recently.
"Nah, we've been around 18 years," said Sherry. "Now, we used to be across the street, and we recently moved -- just by the skin of our teeth; business is tough -- but I've got big plans for this place."
"Well, we've got a kitchen that's not even operational yet," she said. "Also, I want to expand outside and create a patio scene."
"Wow, big dreams," I said.
"Yeah, dreams, but they cost money," she said. "Eventually, this will be Chit-Chat's Bar and Grill."
I liked her. She was gregarious and charming, and she managed to maintain a conversation with me and about a dozen other people simultaneously. Finally she excused herself: "I've gotta teach these folks how to use Facebook," she said, swiveling back and around and click-clacking on her keyboard.
I pushed through the masses to get closer to the stage. The band was covering 3 Doors Down's "Kryptonite," which had everyone bobbing in time and shuffling around the dance floor. Young folks hung back around the pool table, talking closely. Grizzly men, flying solo, sipped beer and watched from the edges of the bar. Bright balloons from a birthday party gleamed under the hazy red lights.
I came face to face with a short, voluptuous brunet. In addition to wearing a black tube top, Kat was also wearing a plastic tiara. "It's my birthday!" she declared.
"Happy birthday," I said. "Twenty-nine?"
"HA! Yeah," she said. "I came down from Port St. Lucie to be here tonight. All my friends and I arranged to meet here."|
"Here? At Chit-Chat's?" I asked. "I mean, it is a cool place..."
"Yes, and we love this band!" She grabbed her blond friend by the wrist, and the two of them peeled out to the floor, shimmying and shaking the whole way there. The band's singer had leapt offstage and was serenading a pretty lady in a polka-dot dress.
I took a step back and nearly bumped into Sherry, who had ceased today's Facebook lessons and was now wandering around the bar with a big tray filled with red Jell-O shots.
"Shot?" she asked.
"Hell yes," I said, snatching one up. Sometimes I cause shenanigans; other times I'm just along for the ride.
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