An embarrassment of post-workday riches: 3-for-1 drinks from 5 p.m. to closing, seven days a week. This warrants exploration. You walk into Max's and say, "Whiskey-ginger ale," and minutes later there is a trinity of golden W-GAs before you. The tab, mind you, is for one. Yes, yes, there are of course a few restrictions about the top-shelf stuff, but that's a trifle. Repeat this mantra: Three.... Threeeeee.
You'll hear a lot of tunes about Texas at this Pompano Beach bar, where the people are friendly and the drafts are served in frosted mugs. But that's country. Until someone writes a hit tune about Florida cowboys, those are the little indignities that a cracker cowboy has to deal with. Red, White, & Country is located in an industrial part of Pompano, east of Dixie Highway and south of Atlantic Boulevard. Look for the neon American flag. The dance floor is wooden, there are line-dancing lessons on Monday and Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., a bluegrass jam on Tuesdays, and DJs Wednesday through Saturday. Don't be surprised if people shake your hand and introduce themselves when you sidle up to the bar.
You'll hear a lot of tunes about Texas at this Pompano Beach bar, where the people are friendly and the drafts are served in frosted mugs. But that's country. Until someone writes a hit tune about Florida cowboys, those are the little indignities that a cracker cowboy has to deal with. Red, White, & Country is located in an industrial part of Pompano, east of Dixie Highway and south of Atlantic Boulevard. Look for the neon American flag. The dance floor is wooden, there are line-dancing lessons on Monday and Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., a bluegrass jam on Tuesdays, and DJs Wednesday through Saturday. Don't be surprised if people shake your hand and introduce themselves when you sidle up to the bar.
You've got your leather chaps and dew rag, a beard down to your belly button, and a Harley with enough chrome to blind anyone with oversensitive eyes. But where to show off all of this and hang out with a similarly tough-as-nails crowd? South Florida has a large number of biker bars, which is not surprising, given that the weather makes this prime motorcycle country. Of all the places you could park your bike and amble in for a brew or two, Quest is right there at the top. Budweiser in the bottle goes for $2 during the day and $3 at night. Drafts are half that. And the place opens at 7 a.m. A small dive far enough west to attract little unwanted attention, Quest is the top place to meet and greet people who go by names like Nick the Greek or Shaky. So just be nice, and act naturally. They're mostly harmless. Mostly.
You've got your leather chaps and dew rag, a beard down to your belly button, and a Harley with enough chrome to blind anyone with oversensitive eyes. But where to show off all of this and hang out with a similarly tough-as-nails crowd? South Florida has a large number of biker bars, which is not surprising, given that the weather makes this prime motorcycle country. Of all the places you could park your bike and amble in for a brew or two, Quest is right there at the top. Budweiser in the bottle goes for $2 during the day and $3 at night. Drafts are half that. And the place opens at 7 a.m. A small dive far enough west to attract little unwanted attention, Quest is the top place to meet and greet people who go by names like Nick the Greek or Shaky. So just be nice, and act naturally. They're mostly harmless. Mostly.
Über-regulars set this joint apart from your usual hole-in-the-wall. (That and the fact that the place doesn't have a phone.) The faithful patrons of Geni-Lee's perch upon their barstools like moss on gravestones. They aren't even aware that the drink prices -- $1.50 for a bottle of Budweiser or a rail drink -- hearken to a time of leisure suits and disco music. In a building with all the exterior charm of a meat locker, this rectangular cave is self-contained, offering a short-order grill that serves $2.25 burgers. The pool table, which is centered on the barroom floor, and dart board clinging to the wall offer a little distraction, but the real delight is circled 'round the bar. A Vietnam-era veteran with shoulder-length hair and balding pate regales his neighbors with pointers about evading jury duty. ("Tell 'em you got a weak bladder.") Perched beside them, an old woman whose flushed face has turned in on itself from decades of sucking cigarettes puffs yet another.
Über-regulars set this joint apart from your usual hole-in-the-wall. (That and the fact that the place doesn't have a phone.) The faithful patrons of Geni-Lee's perch upon their barstools like moss on gravestones. They aren't even aware that the drink prices -- $1.50 for a bottle of Budweiser or a rail drink -- hearken to a time of leisure suits and disco music. In a building with all the exterior charm of a meat locker, this rectangular cave is self-contained, offering a short-order grill that serves $2.25 burgers. The pool table, which is centered on the barroom floor, and dart board clinging to the wall offer a little distraction, but the real delight is circled 'round the bar. A Vietnam-era veteran with shoulder-length hair and balding pate regales his neighbors with pointers about evading jury duty. ("Tell 'em you got a weak bladder.") Perched beside them, an old woman whose flushed face has turned in on itself from decades of sucking cigarettes puffs yet another.
A neighborhood joint on A1A in Fort Lauderdale may seem like an oxymoron, but the section that draws crowds from all around the area can be said to stop at Pusser's Rum, the south end of the beach strip. Beyond that stretches a line of hotels, convenience stores, and restaurants, before the commercial zone finally gives way to the upper-middle-class houses of Harbor Beach. Situated in this margin between housing and beach nightlife, Coconuts offers live entertainment and a deck area that provides ample opportunity to do a little boat watching. The clientele during the day consists primarily of boat owners and captains, though at night, the place becomes a lot more crowded as patrons who don't want to put up with the hectic pace of A1A arrive to mellow out over a few bottles of suds.
A neighborhood joint on A1A in Fort Lauderdale may seem like an oxymoron, but the section that draws crowds from all around the area can be said to stop at Pusser's Rum, the south end of the beach strip. Beyond that stretches a line of hotels, convenience stores, and restaurants, before the commercial zone finally gives way to the upper-middle-class houses of Harbor Beach. Situated in this margin between housing and beach nightlife, Coconuts offers live entertainment and a deck area that provides ample opportunity to do a little boat watching. The clientele during the day consists primarily of boat owners and captains, though at night, the place becomes a lot more crowded as patrons who don't want to put up with the hectic pace of A1A arrive to mellow out over a few bottles of suds.
Jacaranda Italian Family Restaurant & Pizzeria
It's blinding bright outside, but inside the Bar & Grill, a soothing darkness rests the eyes and welcomes the world-weary. The walls are painted a clubby forest green. Three television sets are tuned to sports news, sound off. During football season, Pittsburgh Steelers fans gather here for games. Tonight at the bar, a short guy with a big vocabulary is complaining loudly about his performance evaluation. He wants to know exactly how he can get all E's next time. He wants objectives, goals, measurable benchmarks. Jeez, you think, ordering a $1.35 Bud draft, he's much too caught up in this. You want to shout "Just Be!" or something at the guy. But it's too much fun to feel smugly superior that you're not so caught up in the machinations of "the man." The place begins to fill up. The fella next to you orders a meatball sandwich from the Jacaranda Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria next door. Rene the bartender leaves to get it for him. The phone rings. A patron answers it: "Jacaranda." Silence. "Even here, they hang up on me," she quips. You stare at a backlighted bottle of Grey Goose Vodka and let your mind drift. The two pool tables are empty. On Wednesday nights, a pool league has formed. Performance Evaluation is now telling Rene he wants to kiss her stomach. He says he's trying to be "communicative." She is the center that holds the place together -- blond layered hair to her shoulders, bee-stung lips, a deep tan. Every bar needs a babe, even if none of the patrons has a chance with her. They nurse their drinks, flirt, and dream.

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