Best Beach Bar 2015 | The Village Pump | Arts & Entertainment | South Florida

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea has never looked better. The chunk of land home to the Commercial Pier and Kilwins has recently had a face-lift and is now a pedestrian-friendly, brightly colored plaza that attracts both locals and tourists. But while there are a lot of new sights and sounds down by the beach in LBS, there are also some old classics — places that haven't changed in years and haven't changed for a reason. The Village Pump — the bar and Siamese twin of the adjoining Village Grille — has been bringing a little slice of Boston to the beach for years. There aren't many pubs in this world where you can grab a pint of Guinness while listening to waves crash. This joint is close enough to the beach to enjoy all the sights and sounds but far enough away that you don't have to worry about seagulls stealing your French fries.

As part of Fort Lauderdale Beach's famous Ocean Manor Resort, the Bamboo Beach Club & Tiki Bar has developed a reputation apart from its iconic neighbor. Whereas Ocean Manor oozes a South Beach glitz, Bamboo Beach is all old-school Florida — jiggling flesh, sunburns, and thatched roofs. Although it might not initially complement the swanky Ocean Manor at first blush, consider that sometimes, you want to sip a fancy cocktail; sometimes, you want to shotgun a Milwaukee's Best. The Bamboo made an appearance on season two of Spike TV's Bar Rescue, and the recovery process seems to be well underway.

Stout doesn't mess around. You know what you're getting before your shadow even darkens the doorway. Located on Andrews Avenue, just where Oakland Park's residential neighborhoods brush up against Oakland Park Boulevard's commercial strips, Stout is hard to miss. Driving up, you can spot the signage: a huge glass of Guinness-looking beer, big as a Macy's parade float. Inside, the place is no-frills. That's not to say that Stout lacks an aesthetic. The entire bar is covered in Old Chicago Brick, so you feel like you're walking into a castle's secret drinking lair. And with 40 flat-screen TVs planted around the bar as well as more than 60 beers on the menu, the bar is a good place to camp out on an NFL Sunday or for a string of NBA playoff matchups. And when your team tanks (because your team always tanks, right?), Stout has about 100 whiskeys with which to obliterate the loss.

Readers' Choice: Bru's Room

What makes a biker bar the best? Tough babes, cold brews, and long beards. At J.S. Lounge, you get all that, plus good conversation over an icy, $3 Yuengling with guys who look like they could be members of Z.Z. Top (and chances are, they've got a story about this one time backstage with Billy and Dusty and a couple o' girls...). When a live band's not playing, J.S. flaunts a stocked karaoke machine for your "Green Grass and High Tides" fix. And if a guy named Milwaukee Jack tells you to pick a couple of songs, follow his advice and "just don't play none o' that disco shit."

The goal of kava and hookah bars is the same as the wares they peddle: relaxation. Friendly and knowledgeable, the staff at Awa Na will teach you about kava and set you up with either a bowl or shell of your chosen kava flavor, then set you up with a hookah and give you the run of the place. Darts, cornhole, videogames — the place is filled with stuff to do. Furthermore, it hosts karaoake, comedy, and trivia nights. Forget that pitcher of beer; this is the way to blow off steam.

We must confess, it's a depressing fact that Broward lacks any "one" spot for ladies who love ladies. Where are we, girls? Too tired from a day of unloading the U-Haul to get out at night for a round of Dos Equis? The good news is that there are so many lesbians on this sunny Southern tip of America's wang that the probability of running into a group of them is very, very high. So high that your girl probably dated one of them, and that ex's best friend just scheduled a tire slashing for later this evening. You've been warned.

We may or may not have a gay uncle who may or may not drive over from the west coast specifically to come to this bar, and he may or may not have errantly left his cock ring on the floor of the guest bedroom where he was staying, and we may or may not have picked it up inquisitively, not knowing what it was. Until we went to Ramrod. Now we know.

Readers' Choice: Vibe

For working South Florida musicians, playing live music is always a tough venture. The money never quite seems adequate for the task, and like so many things that get debased, a culture of "doing it for the sake of doing it" arises. Hunters, however, is one of the rare places that gives musicians their chance and helps line their pockets a little. The bar established a "Live on the Drive" music series, letting live bands take over the dance floor and feeding the community's ears with what they've been missing. In addition to sonic nourishment, patrons can expect quality drinks at a reasonable price: $5 craft bourbons, $3 craft beers, and $2 draft beers. Singer Kat Riggins and Blues Revival play the first Wednesday of every month.

If Ferris Bueller were a millennial, he would skip lunch at Chez Quis, ditch the parade, and head straight for Scarlett's. For at Scarlett's, not only is lunch free — with a drink purchase — but he could dock that 1961 Ferrari 250 GT at the complimentary valet to the tune of Yello's "Oh Yeah" as luscious ladies of every flavor paraded through the 25,000-square-foot venue like a winding assembly line of sexy. (And yes, they do strut their stuff to "Oh Yeah.") There is no better place in South Florida to dine on filet mignon sliders ($15) while feasting your eyes on the sexiest bodies the Sunshine State has to offer. Scarlett's boasts eight stages, 11 poles, 16 private suites, and plenty of VIP seating. And if you're wondering how the girls keep in such stunning shape, just take a moment to admire the way they slide up and down the pole. Up and down. Up and down...

Readers' Choice: Scarlett's Cabaret

When people think South Florida, dudes in cowboy hats and Wranglers aren't the first things to come to mind. But come on down to Round Up (not to be confused with the killer Monsanto pesticide) and see Broward County get in touch with its Garth Brooks side. South Florida's finest country-western bar is a multilevel hang with live music, a huge dance floor, and ridiculously good drink specials, such as free drinks for ladies every Wednesday and Friday — that's free drinks all night long, not just during happy hour. But it's still South Florida, so if you want to get your VIP section and bottle service as you listen to the band sing about lost love and pickup trucks, this is the place. Oh, yeah — there's also an art gallery. This place is enough to make you stop saying crazy things like, "I listen to everything except country."

Readers' Choice: Revolution Live

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