South Florida's Five Best Bars for Rockabilly Music
The author and Andrew Whiting give a beginner swing dance lesson at the Kreepy Tiki Bar on Rockabilly nights.
1. 4:30 Boardroom Bar
3343 NE 32nd St., Fort Lauderdale; 727-466-7149.
Stop by the 4:30 Boardroom Bar on Saturdays and you’ll find rockabillies pulling up in their classic cars and trucks for the Vintage Car and Truck Night. Fridays are reserved for the vintage bikes. You’ll find live rockabilly bands and '60s surf rock blasting inside, as well as crowds of bikers, surfers, and swing dancers. At this beachy bar where surfboards, skateboards — really any kind of boards — line the walls, you can play a tune at the jukebox or dance to the local and out-of-town groups who frequent this retro hot spot. Slip and the Spinouts, Skinny Jimmy and the Stingray, and Joel DaSilva are frequent performers. Nothing frilly about the drinks here, but they have a good selection of beer on tap and plenty of different liquors to wet your whistle.
110 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-522-5145.
This dive bar off Second Street always has fun and talented bands on its stage. Walk in on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday and you’ll find a local favorite or an out-of-towner who rocks your socks off. You’ll find plenty of rockabilly, country, blues, punk, and a mix of everything in between. They have the cheapest drinks on the long strip of clubs and bars in downtown Fort Lauderdale, and, according to the staff, “Everyone is welcome but dicks.”
3. The Vintage Tap
524 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561-808-7702.
This small, historic jukebox bar in Delray may look old inside, but it is bringing fresh, live music to Atlantic Avenue from Wednesday to Saturday each week. Enjoy in a wide range of music styles, but rockabilly is often on the menu. Slip and the Spinouts play there frequently, and you’ll never see a cover band onstage. Like most rockabilly, punk, or retro-style bars, the drinks there are hard and cheap. Classic cars are always welcome, and you’ll often see rockabillies swing dancing inside.
Rockabillies come out for a night of swing dancing and live music every third Thursday of the month at the Kreepy Tiki Bar & Lounge.
4. The Kreepy Tiki Bar & Lounge
2608 S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale; 954-641-2601.
This retro tiki bar has long been known as a rockabilly watering hole where you'll hear '50s and '60s music playing inside. Original owner Jackson Valiente’s goal has been to bring new talent to Fort Lauderdale no other clubs know about, and he has successfully done that for years. With his partner Ayme Harrison, he is expanding the venue to include all genres of music; but don’t worry, you’ll still get your fair share of rockabilly music every month. Every third Thursday is Rock 'n’ Roll Swing Night, where swing dance teachers from Swing Out South Florida give a beginner lesson and then Slip and the Spinouts do a special set for the swing dancers and rockabilly enthusiasts. Here, where retro tiki mugs and art line the walls, you can enjoy a custom-crafted cocktail created with in-house made biters, liqueurs, syrups, and hand-squeezed fruit juices. These classic tiki drinks with a twist are delightfully refreshing. But be careful how many of these delicious drinks you throw down, because your swing dancing may be affected.
1388 FL-7, Pompano Beach; 954-979-8540.
This dive bar is a rock 'n' roller's dream, with affordable food and drinks and live rock music every weekend on Fridays and Saturdays. Though this sporty pub doesn't have a weekly or even monthly rockabilly night, it does bring in the occasional local and touring band onto its big black stage. You can get a bucket of beer for as low as $12 and the infamous liquor pitcher for $10. On Wednesdays, you can help "kill the keg" by purchasing an all-you-can-drink beer glass. The rocker patrons are fun and friendly, and you'll often see a big crew of bikes out front.
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