Night Watch is a regular feature about bars and clubs by nightlife
columnist Tara Nieuwesteeg.
2266 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors
Call 954-565-2526, or visit here.
This week, join me as a take a trip into the most classic gay bars in Wilton Manors. These are two tried-and-true exemplary specimens of everything a gay club should epitomize. After my laborious journeys from down-and-dirty dives to spasmodic dance clubs, I felt it fair to indulge in a little Wilton Manors magic.
Georgie's Alibi: the bouncer, a polite, muscular man with a spider tattoo on his forearm, apologized for having to chase down my furry-faced companion -- I call him Beard -- and I in order to check our IDs. "Usually his beard gets us in anywhere," I lamented to the bouncer.
"I tried that, too," he said, inspecting our driver's licenses. "When I was 14. Those were the days! Once I was legal, drinking just wasn't as much fun."
Once we cleared security, we pushed through the mass of human bodies --
this (in)famous gay bar packs a wall-to-wall crowd -- and out to the
patio. We luckily snagged the best seat in the house -- an elevated
gliding table -- and proceeded to order bourbon while watching Beyonce's
"Why Don't You Love Me" music video on multiple TV screens.
Rainbow-hued windsocks flapped in the breeze.
After a few minutes though, I got bored and left Beard to order a
burger (voted the best in Fort Lauderdale) from our toned, dark-haired
waiter, who had an inclination to roll his Rs.
Once you get over the major attack on personal space (I elbowed my way
through the throngs into an unoccupied corner), the place is pretty
cool. The TVs blast out music vids of all your favorite pop hits;
strings of Christmas lights, fringed streamers, and framed posters of
all Georgie's drink specials (one for every day: Saturday and Sunday
mimosas, Monday margaritas, etc) decorate the walls of this
low-ceilinged gay oasis. I pushed my way to the sprawling bar, with its
layers of glasses hanging overhead and shelf upon shelf of booze.
"You guys are busy!" I commented to Eric, a clean-shaven, muscular bartender.
"Well, I don't mean to toot our own horn, but we're like this every day
of the week," he said, whirling back and forth, popping bottles and
pouring shots. "We've been here 14 years, and we started the trends
I scanned the crowd. It had it all: Dark-haired lesbians sipping wine;
muscular boys in ball caps; old guys cuddling in a booth over beer.
Eric told me to scope the other side of the bar, so I navigated through
the expansive establishment, trying to keep my hands up so as to not
brush anyone's unmentionables.
I ended up pausing in front of a couple drinking back near the
bathrooms. Nick was grizzled and immediately didn't trust me. Dino was
boyish, with cropped hair and a hesitant smile.
"Having fun?" I asked them. "What do ya'll think of the bar?"
They must have had super-high standards because they deemed it "OK" and
Dino complained that "there's too many ugly people here tonight."
"Um...sorry," I said. "I can leave?"
"No, not you," Dino waved his hand as to indicate dismissal of the entire population as a whole.
"Oh, and, a warning:" said Nick. "Don't use the restroom here. Guys use the ladies' room."
"Please," I laughed. "I'm not exactly a gay-bar virgin."
Personally, I thought the looks-quotient in the room was decent, until
I saw Carine.
Dark-haired, doe-eyed, and clad in a short skirt, she
alone skyrocketed it to a solid above-average.
"I'm 23," Carine told me. "I've lived in Fort Lauderdale for 15 years. This is my first time in Wilton Manors."
"Wow," I said, and glanced at her long-haired guy-friend, Frankie. "Your doing?"
"Oh yeah," he said. "We're starting at Georgie's. Then we're going to Rosie's. We'll end up at a strip club."
"Wilton Manors is beautiful," she said, fingering her wine glass. "I
feel like I'm on vacation! And this bar is so much fun!" Carine
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continued. "Everyone is so welcoming."
Yes, you're a hot chick, of course they're welcoming. I told Frankie to
take care of Carine (I punctuated it with a quasi-threatening look) and
darted back outside into the night.