If you've ever been to the Blue Boar Tavern, then you probably already know what I'm about to tell you.
You already know it's the very definition of "hole in the wall." You know you're guaranteed to walk out smelling like smoke -- the funk of nearly 24 straight hours' worth of patrons permeating the place. And you know it's got some pretty awesome, greasy bar food.
Overall, it may sound like the last place you want to spend your night out -- but it's all these reasons (and more) that keep a lot of people coming back for more.
It's for the experience.
But, more than anything, it's also for the hours of operation.
Why? Well, if you've been to the Blue Boar, I'm gonna put money on the fact that it has probably been in the wee hours of the morning -- proving that you also know above all else that it's one of the three or so bars in all of Palm Beach County that stays open until 5 a.m. (the kitchen until 4:30 a.m. Beat that, Taco Bell!).
Lucky them. Thanks to an old law and a unique location on county lines, this 30-year-old establishment is well within its rights to stay open long after the usual haunts, clubs and restaurants have closed.
Enter the after-hours bar. For this reason, the Blue Boar is perhaps best-known as the "In the Biz" bar -- it's where the bartenders go to hang out after they get off work and want a drink and some grub.
At the Blue Boar you'll stumble upon a patronage that is at once varied and familiar: You get regulars from all walks of life, locals -- and always plenty of rowdy bartenders.
You can also get food for less than $5, beer at bottom of the barrel prices, and a bar scene unlike any other. They even have a "Guys Night" with 2-for-1 specials. Sorry ladies!
Want a roast beef or ham and cheese quesadilla ($6.50) after a long night out? Those are a few favorites -- just make sure you get there late, hungry, and ready to play a game or two of pool.
We caught up with the owner's daughter, longtime West Palm Beach resident and bartender Teressa Jezowski, to find out the behind-the-scene dirt. Here is what the bartender that serves the bartenders had to say:
Clean Plate Charlie:What's it like to work the late shift at the Blue Boar?
Teressa Jezowski: I'm here from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., so I see a lot. I literally grew up here. I started at 15 in the kitchen.
You must have a lot of regulars. I bet you know them all.
We do; we've been here 30 years now. And we have so many people coming in here. All kinds. And they all get along. It's amazing. Everyone knows each other somehow, some way. And they come in shifts. The early crowd is here from about 9 p.m. to midnight. Then, after 12, it slows down until you get the "in the biz" people somewhere after 2 a.m. From 2:30 a.m. on, any night of the week, we're busy. The doors open, and they come in by the dozen.
Ever tried to bartend anywhere else?
I went to Vegas for three months to give it a try. But you have to be over 21 to work anywhere there. I mean, they have [casino] machines in the gas stations out there. It's a whole different world.
Why do you think people like coming to your place?
We have good prices. And good food. And we're open late. I think there are only like three other places around that stay open this late. So, yeah, season doesn't apply here. We're always busy.
What are the most popular drinks and food?
Believe it or not, Washington Apples ($3). We make a lot of those. And we always have a beer of the month for $2.50. As for food, I'd have to say AJ's Super Grilled Cheese ($5.75). It has three different kinds of cheese [mozzarella, American, and cheddar], bacon, tomato, and sautéed onions. And our kitchen stays open until 4:30 a.m.
I heard your prices are really good. Any other specials?
We have good deals on everything. It's got to be affordable -- the bartenders know if they're being ripped off or not.
What's your best night?
We like to go against tradition. Saturdays, our men's night, is really popular. From 8 p.m. to midnight, all drinks are 2-for-1. Not a lot of places have that. But every night, late night, is really a good night here -- especially the nights that are good for downtown.
So where do you like to go out?
I don't. I don't drink, and I don't go out much.
Well, that's OK by us. We'd rather come see you at the Blue Boar Tavern for a Washington Apple.