Respectable Street

Residing on Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach since 1987, Respectables is the longest-running nightclub in the southeastern U.S. — and for good reason. Not only does RSC feature local and nationally known DJs to curate dance-floor shenanigans throughout the week but it's also been a hub for some of alternative music's most crucial musicians. With a simple stage sitting about four feet off the ground, the view is perfect from anywhere in the venue, and the understated hardwood floors are perfect encouragement for sound quality. When the weather is on its best behavior, there is plenty of room on the patio for alfresco tuneage along with an auxiliary bar, so you never have to wait too long for a drink. Lining the walls are plenty of opportunities to kick it and relax if you don't feel up to getting down on the dance floor on nights when the venue hosts parties, but if you're looking for the full RSC experience, you'll want to head out on a Thursday for the weekly edition of Flaunt. There, you'll get to take advantage of drink specials on the basics while the spotlight turns to local music. Two or three bands every Thursday from as close as Lake Worth and as far as New York play Respectables, and after the bands are packed away, the DJs are ready and waiting. Respectables is known for its theme nights (cheesy '80s prom night!) and often hosts cultural events where art and music meet. RSC is truly a melting pot on any given night and a staple in the South Florida music scene.

Gryphon

"Techno and tacos" are two things DJ Donnie Lowe loves in this world, along with making people dance, of course. Resident DJ at Gryphon Nightclub, located at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Lowe has been spinning records for the past five years. What sets Lowe apart from a lot of young DJs is that he spins wax as opposed to working straight off of a MacBook. "My mentor Matt Spector showed me how important it was to run vinyl exclusively. He wouldn't let me switch the record until the mix was perfect," he says of honing his art. One thing is clear from Lowe's sound: He has respect for his predecessors, especially those he's responsible for opening a room for, understanding the delicate balance of setting the stage and stealing it. You can find Donnie Lowe spinning at Gryphon, where he started as a promoter and shows genuine appreciation for his workplace. Humble and talented, Lowe isn't worried about everyone knowing him as much as he wants to ensure he's doing what he can to evolve as a musician. His first recording was released in 2012, and there's a lot more where that came from. If you have a taste for blowing off steam and shaking that ass, Lowe can help you with that. "You never know when someone's had a terrible day, but all it takes is one minute of mixing to get them dancing and you can see them just putting whatever it is behind them," he says. Keep an eye out for him this year, as he's got a few things lined up for release. He's all over SoundCloud, and you should be all over him.

Cowboy's Saloon

It's Friday night. That means ladies' night at Cowboy's Saloon. So squeeze into some Tight Fittin' Jeans, hop into your Big Ol' Truck, and head over to the unassuming strip mall in Davie. Once inside, check out the talent — Wrangler's, cowboy hats, and heeled boots all around. Country Girl, Shake It for Me — you say to one ponytailed hottie. You tell her you're looking for A Little Less Talk, a Lot More Action. She's a Whiskey Girl — she understands. You hit the dance floor for some line dancing and score her a shot in a Red Solo Cup. Chicks drink free, and Tequila Makes Her Clothes Come Off. I Love This Bar, you tell her. Tip It on Back, she says. The Gambler in you knows, if you play your cards right, you could end the evening with Nothing On but the Radio. After a few rounds of Boot Scootin' Boogie, you and your dance partner hit the road. Cowboy, Take Me Away, she says. You oblige. Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy. When dawn breaks, you drop her home and speed away like the devil. It's The Cowboy in Me, you say to yourself. And next week, you'll do it all over again. After all, life is short. Gotta Live Like You Were Dyin'.

America's Backyard

It's Thursday night. While you could stay home in your Pink sweats and watch Community, you and your friends are totes down to get shitfaced instead. YOLO and all that. So throw on some high-waisted neon shorts, scrounge up some stray dollars from the couch cushions, and make your way to America's Backyard.

College night means $1 drinks, $1 drafts. Challenge your roomies to an epic beer-pong battle ($10 unlimited all night) — loser does the laundry. Make it rain pennies from the second floor. Drink from a PBR pitcher. Hula-Hoop on a bar top. Do shots. Lots of shots. Make out with a stranger in the bathroom. It's the broad spectrum of college debauchery, all rolled into one two-story coed wonderland.

Does the fact that you're 32 make this weird? Nah. Everyone loves Old School, after all. Just try to keep the streaking to a minimum.

Cubby Hole

No offense to the gays of Wilton Manors, but sometimes that scene can be a little elitist and thus borrrring. It's on those downer days that you need to march your queer ass over to the Cubby Hole. It's located in one of the coolest strip malls ever, right next to Radio-Active Records and Arcade Game Sales. (Just let the giant bear claw lead the way to this straight-up divine dive.) These dudes call their spot "the best li'l butch bar in Fort Lauderdale," and man, are they into some hairy shit. Over at the Cubby Hole, they prefer their men masculine. Bear Chest Thursdays'll get you two-for-one drinks, as will Underwear Wednesdays (wear only underwear!) and Boxers and Briefs Mondays. These guys reward nude behavior with libations, and God bless 'em for it. They've got butch burgers, butch billiards, and butch dudes. Not everyone wants a tiny twinkie; some of us hunger for more — for man meat, a delicacy best found served warm and wet at the Cubby Hole. They're friendly to the straights here too.

Royal Pig Pub & Kitchen

The pub craze is blazing through Fort Lauderdale; some are as old as the city itself (or so they smell), and some are so new that the paint on the sign hasn't even dried before every seat in the house is filled. Almost overnight, the Royal Pig Pub appeared on the west end of Las Olas and has become an instant classic. So what does the Pig have that plucked patrons from the plethora of pubs reproducing in the BroCo? Beer. And not just any beer but probably the most extensive list on the drag. Sixteen brews on tap, including its own "Royal Pig" red ale and the perfect beer for South Florida weather, Magic Hat #9 (not easy to find on tap around these parts). On top of the tap options, about 20 other beers are on the list. And you won't even get stuck paying more than six bucks for that beer, which is a rare thing on Las Olas. Believe it or not, with that sort of selection, the beer shares the limelight with an even longer list of wines and a hip little list of cocktails to boot. And while the Pig prides itself on its diverse beer and wine menu, the food menu is nothing to scoff at. The options range from not-so-simple burgers (Cactus Jack Burger) to Cajun fusion pub fare (Fish of the Moment, with grits). Worth looking into for the beer list, worth staying for the food and with the number of televisions in the place — you won't miss that three-pointer because you're sitting at a table.

Square Grouper

In the 1800s, this saloon hosted sailors making their way toward the Jupiter Lighthouse. In the 1900s, it hosted President Grover Cleveland. Today, it is a rad little beach shack with tropical-colored paint, sand floors, twinkle lights, and a marina. Everyone — laid-back boat bums, young professionals kicking back, your dad and his friend in Dockers and Guy Harvey shirts — communes here for Movie Mondays with free popcorn or on balmy nights when bands like the Evil Monkeys provide the tuneage. A tiki hut with a Love Street address and a nod to running doobage in its name? ("Square Grouper" is a bale of weed.) Basically, this is the perfect Florida hang. Key West, Jimmy Buffett can keep you.

Tap 42

Industrial Andrews Avenue isn't the most scenic place for a bar, but this location had a few things going for it: proximity to downtown, lots of parking, and no meters. And it was the site of the legendary Brownie's, a Fort Lauderdale saloon that was open for about 75 years before making way for Tap 42. The good people on the barstools up in heaven must have blessed this place, because it's been slammed since opening day in late 2011. Though it's true that the simple but welcoming décor, the 50 craft beers on tap, the 42 bourbons, and the specialty cocktails might have had something to do with its runaway success (oh yes, and the food: mac and cheese with lobster tail, and chicken wings the size of your head), we like to imagine a big party planner in the sky wanted to nudge together all of us disparate "types" in this concrete swampland — hipsters, yuppies, and power lunchers, all of whom commune here in happy swarms. But maybe we all just came for the happy hour (4 to 7 weekdays).

Biergarten Boca Raton

What makes this German-themed downtown Boca Raton eatery and bar such a standout is its perfect amalgamation of kitschy, cushy, and classy. Stylish on the inside with its ivy-laden walls, dark wood accents, and taxidermy lighting, Biergarten brings the hint of sophistication and ambiance that is de rigueur for a successful Boca Raton establishment. Yet this watering hole doesn't take itself too seriously, never feeling stuffy and overly posh. On the outside, this locale is set up like a cozy German biergarten, with its large slab tables and barstools. The servers, dressed in traditional German outfits — beer wench dresses for the ladies and suspenders over lederhosen for the guys — add the kitsch factor, but they are so comfortable and amiable in their garb that the outfits do not come off as tacky. We have not even mentioned Biergarten's main draw, its stellar beer selection. With an assortment of 24 rotating drafts and more than 20 other bottled brews to choose from, Biergarten has Boca Raton's heartiest assortment of beers. The icing on the cake: This extensive variety of barley pops does not come with a Boca Raton price tag. During happy hour, a pint of its German delights, like Paulaner Salvator or Franziskaner Dunkel, is only $4.

American Rock Bar & Grill

You would be hard-pressed to find a bar with such deep drink specials as the ones offered at American Rock Bar and Grill. It's true, no watering hole in the northern parts of Broward County is as generous in its liquor apportions as this Deerfield Beach establishment. With three-for-ones on well drinks and domestic drafts from 4 to 8 p.m. and two-for-ones from 8 p.m. until closing, happy hour knows no bounds within these confines. The locale's intoxicating charitableness leads to patrons of the highest spirits. A name like American Rock Bar gives the impression that these regulars would consist of the long-haired, metalhead sort, with devil-horn tats and leather pants in check. In actuality, this joint is a neighborhood bar in its quintessential form, a mixed bag of blue-collar locals, FAU kids, and Palm Beach County executives enjoying cheap drinks and appealing grub. The countless posters of rock icons like Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison on the walls and the menu items, which reference artists from rock's lexicon, set the rock 'n' roll mood. Nirvana, a heap of tricolored nachos loaded with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeños, shredded lettuce, and chopped tomatoes; and Black Flag, a half-pound Black Angus burger, are the two most popular rock-idol-acknowledging food items. Of late, this taproom has been living up to its name by showcasing local musical acts regularly.

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