Perhaps the crown jewel of the Crown franchise, this exquisitely well-stocked pantry at the corner of Yacht Captain Row and Cruise Ship Lane caters to those with a need for the finer things in life. Landlubbers and regular wage slaves come in and gawk at the kind of victuals a real-life Thurston J. Howell III would bring along for a sea-faring journey: fig jams, black currant spreads, truffles for miles, gourmet cheese up the yin-yang, and expensive European cigarettes and rare cigars. Oh, and the place has a few bottles of booze too, but not only does it have your Johnny Walker Blue and such-not but gallons of high-end tequilas and some pretty rare and fancy mixers. And since this store is frequented by boaters plying the Caribbean, there's eleventy-million kinds of rum — rums you've never heard of or dreamed about, rums from aged barrels of charred oak, rums from tiny organic sugar-cane plantations, rums evidently blended from God's private stash. And while South Florida is historically microbrew-shy, this Crown maintains a classy, coast-to-coast six-pack selection. Far from snooty or stuffy, the staff here is fun and knowledgeable without being snobs about it. They'll see if they can't make you feel like king for a day, or at least a well-heeled Parrothead, even if the closest you're getting to a boat is in your bathtub.
Tease
It looks like an airy loft apartment and is so smartly urbane that forward-thinking stylists like Gina Zompa won't let you settle for just a trim if what you really need is a re-'do. Even if you've got perfectly long, straight, blond locks or fabulous cork-screw curls waving throughout your strawberry-blonde mane, owners Luann and Andrew Alorro and their half-dozen or so stylists can glam up those tresses several notches. The Alorros have been working out tangles on or around Las Olas for more than 20 years. Haircuts start at $45 for women and $35 for men. A full range of color services is available — and Zompa trained with Aveda's global color trainer when she worked at the now-defunct Salon 808 Las Olas. Ascend the suspension staircase and get one of the neatest, shiniest, and longest-lasting manis or pedis you can find in South Florida — particularly at $55 for both. Refreshments are free, and the friendly workers always offer to let you in on their lunch order if you happen to be there getting that new color to sink in. Grab a gumball on your way out the door, and don't forget to make sure you remembered your parking stub — Tease validates.
Forget about leaving here without spending at least $20. If you have a nail-polish fetish so severe that the vast subtle difference in pink from "Ballet Slippers" to "Sugar Daddy" means that you have to buy them both, then this warehouse-in-a-strip-mall is your mecca. You've got $7-a-bottle access to the full lines and most current seasonal offerings from OPI, Essie, and China Glaze. Professional-grade cuticle and callous removers come in every size, starting at $4.95 and up to $40 for the larger containers. Files in every grade, from fine to coarse, are available. So are nail brushes, foot files, and scrapers. There are also two rows the length of an Olympic swimming pool full of hair products — one devoted exclusively to shampoos, conditioners, and styling products and the second to color and permanent solutions. Every shape, size, and style of curler hangs on the back wall, and lightning-fast hair driers and straightening irons are also available. Proprietor Diane Browne is nice, helpful, and as enthused about the full-spectrum color wheel of polish as you undoubtedly are. When a customer complained that she couldn't find "Cherry Pop," a pink-tinted clear polish by Essie, Browne knew it by name and found it quicker than you can spray on that fast-drying topcoat.
Athena's Salon & Spa
Women used to be so striking. Look at Billie Holliday's pin curls, held taut with gardenias. Or Lucille Ball's slicked-up, lacquered-down poodle cut. There were soda-can bouffants, beehives woven into architectural wonders, and, of course, more sexy, bad girl, and rockabilly up-dos than you can wag your wrench at. So, when did things get so... flat? Well, for Riviera DeCordova, time never lapsed. An addict of black-and-white, Turner Classic Movies, Riviera has a soft spot for the hard times of Depression-era fingerwaves and a sweet tooth for the Sugar Pop days of 1950s malt-shop curls. And while she's gathered armfuls of awards from mainstream salons like Regis and Yellow Strawberry for her more modern styles, our gal is whispered about in fancy lady circles for her period work with the Broward Opera House, Atomic Betty's pinup photo shoots, and the Delray Beach vintage trunk fashion shows. She just has a knack for turning ordinary ladies into engine-revving hotrods. So you're feeling limp and need a perm 'cause your locks have just lost that lovin' feeling? No problem; visit Riviera, and let her turn your hair-don't into a hair-do.
ManKind
Men aren't always that comfortable pampering themselves. Most guys are more likely to buy spa packages for their spouses than expect one as a gift for themselves. Theories abound on why that is, but it's important for certain male-only day spas like ManKind in downtown Fort Lauderdale to pick up the slack for this underserved demographic. Let the name say it all. Every inch of this spa oozes manhood, from the mahogany wood décor and pool table to the twin barbers on staff who look like auto mechanics. They have a bar on site that can pour as much complimentary Dewars scotch as you can handle and have free Killians and Michelob on tap for paying customers as well. ManKind specializes in Swedish and deep-tissue massage and has three certified massage therapists on staff to cut down on wait time. There's an executive feel to the place, and everything on the inside is legit. The only happy ending you can expect is to kick back and get a pedicure while sipping on an espresso.
Surf World
Don't let the name fool you. At Surf World, you'll find supplies for everything you can do in South Florida that requires putting both feet on some sort of board and holding your body in balance while moving. In the back of both of these Broward County locations, past that hollow black $1,049 Lost surfboard, is an entire array of skateboards by Venture, York, and Gravity, to name a few. Some of the boards still look like the first one Mom and Dad bought you in middle school (plain with the black top) while others are shapelier (there's one resembling a fish, and another is an ode to the shark). Save a little wear and tear on your joints and pick up Pro-Tech knee and elbow pads, which range from $16.95 to $31.95. Surf World stocks plenty of skater kicks — try a pair of the Ryan Smith edition from Globe Shoes for $49.95 or some killer Reefs at $45.99 for the Point Break Series. For the flip-flop skater boy or girl, strap on a pair of Reef thongs that double as a flask — because those ones with just the bottle opener on the bottom are so last year!
Midtown Athletic Club
At about $115 a month, the Midtown Athletic Club in Weston is about triple the cost of Gold's Gym or L.A. Fitness. But those other places don't have 25 tennis courts, three pools, and classes on how to dance the zumba. Bring CDs and DVDs to play while you're burning calories on the elliptical trainer, bike, or treadmill, each of which comes equipped with its own 15-inch LCD screen. As they say at the Midtown, "It's not just a club, it's a community," which may explain why they also host wine-tastings, a movie night, and even a junior fashion show.
The Scuba Club
It's advertised as "a country club for scuba divers" and, less humbly, "the best damn facility on the planet since 1972." Those claims are hard to argue with, because the Scuba Club has everything you need, from wetsuits and regulators (for rent or sale at the pro shop) to a classroom (basic certification costs $250 and includes five dives) to a swimming pool for practicing to a dock with the boat parked right there. Did we mention the steam room, the photo lab, or the hotel room (with kitchen)? "You pull in the parking lot and you're pretty much done," instructor Wayne Shoemake says. He, like much of the staff, has been here "since the Jurassic era" (20-plus years), and General Manager J.D. Duff even has a college degree in diving. In other words, they're folks you can trust with your life.
American hardware stores bore witness to three distinct evolutionary stages: First came the mom-and-pop epoch, where a kindly soul would take you by the hand down dusty aisles to find exactly the eyehook or hose bib you'd been searching for. Next came the Ace/TrueValue era, which began to outshine small family-run stores with their bright fluorescents and abundantly organized overstock. Finally, the Home Depot period (in which we're currently "existing," not "living") has all but reduced the hardware-store experience to a degrading, dehumanizing solo search-and-rescue mission followed by a long, slow slog to a faceless automatic scanner. Riverland Hardware not only looks, feels, and smells like a small-town hardware store from the 1960s, it's run by a real-life mom and pop. If you're looking for something, no one has to scroll through SKU numbers on a computer screen to see if it's in stock — they'll actually go and pull it off the shelf for you. Sure, Riverland Hardware is tiny. It's mostly there so you can go about fixing your toilet, unclogging your drain, and replacing those sprinkler heads. It doesn't sell riding mowers or gas grills, and it might not be as cheap as the orange, big-box monstrosity with the ocean-sized parking lot. But during those panicky, last-minute trips for hurricane supplies, you'll be so glad you're here instead of there.
Cloud 9 Lounge
Much like the National Beer Pong League and the American Beer Pong Association of America, the Cloud Nine takes its beer pong seriously. Not only does the bar have its own custom-built plywood competition tables, house rules, and referees; it knows how to draw hardcore "athletes" — with weekly $150 prizes leading up to the May championship (which comes with a $500 award). For the uninitiated, beer pong is a game in which a pair of two-person teams face off over a Ping-Pong-style table. Each team sets up six plastic cups half-full of beer, with the objective to toss the Ping-Pong ball and land it in one of your opponents' cups. After taking a hit, the player drinks the contents and removes the cup from the table. The team with the last cup standing wins; the loser wins a real nice buzz. All this for a $6 entry fee — enough to cover "equipment" like Miller Lite.

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