When new customers start to become regulars, Candy Mansfield has an unabashed way of remembering their names. She'll scrawl them on cocktail napkins, complete with short descriptions of what they drink and how they spend time in the bar. "You're Jerry's wife, right?" she asked a blond patron recently while referencing one of her napkin notes. "He drinks Sam Adams and plays pinball." Mansfield says she does it not because bartending at the rough-around-the-edges Coasters is her business but because it's her social life. "This is my Friday and Saturday night out. This is where I party," she says. The chronically friendly 52-year-old Mansfield grew up with bartending in the blood; her parents owned a bar in Illinois. She worked as a court clerk before taking the job pouring pitchers at Coasters three years ago. Her tips are helping to put a daughter through medical school, something that endears her to the Palm Beach Atlantic University kids who frequent Coasters. Aside from the cocktail napkin trick, Mansfield does something else pretty damned nice for regulars. If they request bottled beer enough, she'll order a keg of it. Now that's service.
You know the Bloody Mary drill. Sunday brunch. Hair of the dog. Tomato juice, vodka, spices, and a stalk of celery. You also know that, at a place with Mary in its name, they're going to take special measures to juice the thing up, to make it their own. At Hamburger Mary's, la cosa nostra comes supercharged, with the rim of the glass dipped in peppery red stuff. The vodka is Absolut. The spices are black and white pepper, Worcestershire sauce, clam juice, lemon juice, celery, lime and lemon wedges, and an olive, and it'll fire up your engines like the start of a NASCAR rumble. If you're around on the alleged Day of Rest, there's an all-day "Sunday: Bloody Sunday" policy, which means Bloody Marys are $3 a pop.
The first time the foot falls inside the Field, you get the feeling of having entered a large, 100-year-old Irish house. Once you drop a Guinness, Bass, or Strongbow Irish Cider down the neck, you begin to feel the warm effects of the dark wood and dim-lit interior. From the massive, deep barrel booth in the back to the brick fireplace in the center of the room, the bar creates an atmosphere that transports you to a wee little land across the sea. The spell is complete when the Celtic Bridge Irish Band strikes up on Friday and Saturday nights. As for modern fun, Hot Rod, the local Rod Stewart impersonator, takes the stage every Wednesday at 8 p.m. The pub prepares the belly for floods of Harp with an extensive menu that includes Donegal mussels ($9.95), the Kilkenny sandwich ($7.95), and shepherd's pie ($8.95). Seating is provided indoors and out, where tobacco fiends can lean back in a swinging table and light up a smoke.
Precocious youth perhaps won us over, but to be fair, this 19-year-old Fort Lauderdale native's got the skills to back it up. In just two years, Matt Cash has graduated from the back rooms of Broward Brit pubs to wowing hipsters ten years his senior at mainstay Miami nightspots like Poplife and the District. There are those half-assed, pseudo DJs who are content to rely on auto-cues and cross faders, but Cash's sets are on-the-fly mash-up mixes that splice Moving Units into Weezer into Trick Daddy, recalling the likes of 2ManyDJs. While Miami's Design District is where Cash calls home these days, the lad has left his mark with the 18-to-25 demographic in Lauderdale after various residencies, including Crush and Deck. If you see him, ask him for his new mix and you'll know what we're talking about.
Self-deprecation is a dying art. And so, any strip joint with the wit and chutzpah to make fun of the Mobbed-up reputation of titty bars deserves a nod. Even better is the fact that Bada Bing, one of the newest additions to South Florida's T&A scene, deserves the recognition. A classy place near Dixie Highway, Bada Bing prides itself on breaking the strip-club mold: The girls are not only pretty but friendly, the disc jockey's one-liners are actually funny, and the drinks aren't watered down. Best yet, the drink specials are as follows: $15 open bar for premium drinks Sunday through Thursday from 8 to 11 p.m. And 2 for 1 drinks seven days until 8 p.m.
As many Gen-Y kids grow bored with the stuffy, hectic, downtown Liquordale scene, they now gravitate to neighborhood pubs to clink mugs and dance with like-minded music geeks. In the past year, Crush has grown from a whispered-about Thursday night to arguably the week's preeminent outlet for DJ-led decadence. With its third -- and hopefully final -- venue change to Lauderhill's Rose & Crown, the 18-plus fete now lasts until 4 a.m., with indoor and outdoor DJs hustling everything from three-chord rowdiness to electrobeats. Though its attendees are fairly diverse, Crush tends to draw a younger crowd due to its lenient age limits and cheap cover. While Maguire's Sunday Night Boogie is hotly nipping on its heels, Crush continues to reel in both the nubile faction ready to shake it and the jaded scenesters who pretend they're only there for the drink specials.
Almost as new as the year itself, Gryphon nightclub has redirected late-night, Miami-bound traffic to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The large dance club with a sunken dance floor and comfortable seating all around offers an environment where you can take in the company of the upbeat, sassy crowd that's drawn by resident DJs who include Friday night's Ivano Bellini and Southside and Saturday night's nextgeneration. Miami promotion company Aqua Booty's monthly mix-in of DJs like Osunlade and Neil Aline sharpens the edge. Kitschily clad dancers on blocks around the floor lead partiers in all the right moves. Between paying the cover and covering your bar tab, one night of partying can easily cost $100. For big spenders, there's the VIP room with large, double-sided couches that can accommodate your whole party. This select room is Broward's hottest place to see and be seen.
The Village Pump has one hell of a story. Opened in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea in 1949, 15 years before the Commercial Boulevard bridge connected the barrier island to the mainland, the pub built a reputation as a place where locals and tourists alike could sit back, drink a beer, and converse like neighbors. Even after a half-century of development, the Village Pump is in many ways the same: a laid-back bar with good service, friendly patrons, and reasonably priced pints (about $4 each). What's more, you can still hear the gentle crashing of the Atlantic Ocean, just as you could in 1949. The pub recently opened a stylish restaurant next door, the Village Grille, but thankfully, the Village Pump remains as relaxing and enticing as ever.
Listen up, rage-aholics. You can guzzle a sixer of Red Bull and go flail your woman across a disco dance floor like every other trendoid or you can break away from the pack and show some class. Here's the trick: ballroom dancing. Slow down, smooth out, show a mastery of this stuff and you'll wow her socks off (and potentially other garments as well). If you're really looking to slow-dance, you have to go where the slow folks go. Since 1992, the only rule for Tuesdays at the theater is that "everybody dances." So reads the website for the Hollywood Bandshell, where every Tuesday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., you can get jiggy to vintage dance music. The year-round Dancing in the Moonlight series features big band and swing groups like Bobby Kent and the Esquires and the Swell Tones, along with occasional salsa, merengue, and cha cha. The open-air, beachside bandshell is the only venue of its kind in Broward. And if you've never been swung under the stars, you have no idea how moving so slow can get your pulse beating so fast.
Best Place for a Sidecar of Blues Bamboo Room

It's no easy feat for a concert venue to come across as sophisticated and downhome at the same time, but Lake Worth's Bamboo Room pulls off the combination with classic Florida charm. Over the past six years, the Bamboo Room has established itself as one of the most professional and welcoming rooms in the Southland -- an opinion shared by patrons and musicians alike. Along with its stellar roster of entertainment -- which goes way beyond standard blues to funk, experimental, acoustic, and folk -- the Bamboo has one of the most extensive beer and liquor selections in the county. Check out the towering collection of classic martini shakers behind the bar -- there's probably one for each of the 100 cocktails on the bar menu. Drink specials change weekly. Order a cocktail from the friendly wait staff, sit back, and appreciate the work owner Russell Hibbard has put into his bamboo-clad baby. If the blues is a cozy blanket, the Bamboo Room is the comfy bed it keeps warm.

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