Rosie's Bar and Grill
CandaceWest.com
Drink prices at Rosies's drop down at 2 p.m., not the standard 4 o'clock happy hour. And that's just the first reason why this spot hosts the best happy hour in Broward County. (Just think, if you take your break late, your liquid lunch will be half price!) There's never an obnoxious "ladies' night" at this gay-friendly bar and grill, where free drinks leave your soul and patience with a heavy deficit. Rosie's celebrates all the major drinking holidays, like St. Patrick's Day and Mardis Gras, with decorations, specialty cocktails, and music to fit the occasion. A choice between sitting inside or out at this massive bar is the final reason Rosie's gets the blue ribbon.
E.R. Bradley's Saloon
Christina Mendenhall
Named after the man who owned four Kentucky Derby horses and the longest-running illegal casino in American history, E.R. Bradley's knows how to party, and that includes a kickin' happy hour five days a week. Since 1984, when it opened in its original location on Palm Beach, the upper crust and some real heels have packed the place Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. — even though there are no drink specials. Instead, the waterfront restaurant lays out free eats for those who buy just two drinks (otherwise, it's $16). With a carving station, finger foods, minipizzas, and wrap sandwiches among the selections, it's a filling, well-balanced and delicious meal worth the cost of a couple of beers. The spacious indoor bar, with its vaulted ceiling, offers both a DJ and lots of seating. Outdoors, the tiki bar beneath the expansive green awning offers smokers a wonderful view of the Intracoastal while they enjoy a stogie from the humidor. But the real reason happy hour is so wildly popular is the people. Financially flush society types, international businesspeople, and professional up-and-comers make for terrific networking and great date potential.
There are 11 Sidepockets around these United States, and all but this one are clustered in Kansas, Nebraska, or Missouri. How a Sidepockets landed this far from the rest is a mystery, but there's no questioning the business plan: Build a big pool hall (43 tables in 21,000 square feet) that serves big food (most notably, five kinds of half-pound burgers for under $8) that you can eat while watching sports on big TVs (four 12-foot-wide high-def projection screens). Sidepockets also pays attention to the little things: The tables and sticks are warp-free, the lighting and space between tables is perfect, and the place is much cleaner than your average dingy pool hall. And the prices? Just right. Tables are $5 an hour until 6 p.m. and $10 an hour afterward. Lunch and dinner specials start at $6.50, and if you buy lunch on a weekday, you get a free hour of pool.
Before smokers became second-class citizens, cigarette equaled sophisticate. Fitzy's Lounge returns dignity to tobacco lovers with an industrial-chic décor (check out the illuminated, 47-foot arced bar) and a cigar list that starts at $8 and ends at $100. Owners John and Marit Fitzpatrick understand a good pairing, and that's why they offer a selection of blended and single-malt scotches to set off a chocolaty figurado or silky robusto. Likewise, they offer a twist on the classic coffee-and-cigarette combo with their Fitzy's Fuel martini, made with four potent shots of espresso, chocolate vodka, and Bailey's. On Tuesdays, a jazz quartet plays for no cover or drink minimum — although you may still want some champagne to go with your smokes. It's a great combination, and Fitzy's claims to sell more bubbly than any other Delray establishment.
The Ugly Mug
This ain't ugly: no cover charge, and last call at 5 a.m. The party rages until closing time with cover bands Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and everyone is just drunk enough not to notice that your dancing was once compared to an epileptic seizure. Knowing that late-night revelry also means early-morning appetite, this West Delray sports bar offers a full menu from 11 a.m. until 4 a.m., with Philly cheese steak, wings, and pizza among the selections. If real food cuts too far into your beer budget, you can grab a cheap snack from the vending machine. And don't worry about being low on smokes, because the Mug's got a machine for that too. There are also a half-dozen TVs, a couple of pool tables, and a dartboard. And because this sports bar doubles as a package store, you can get booze to go and keep the party going until the break of dawn.
Voodoo Lounge
Club Voodoo casts its spell on the ladies on Wednesdays, luring them with the magic words Free drinks! and having hard-bodied hunks serve them. With three clubs in one, Voodoo gives the chicas the seductive power of choice: rock in bordello-chic Rodman's Rehab, bust old-school moves in ultrawhite Envy, or work it to techno beats in the trippy main club. And for those ladies who thrive on attention, there's even a large stage for them to strut their stuff like a pro. Voodoo keeps them lubricated from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., so your odds never looked better on hump day.
Brogues Downunder
Liz Dzuro
Maybe it's all that manly, dark wood or the robust beers on tap, but for some reason, it's always a sausage fest at Brogues Irish Pub. Maybe it's just that the pub knows that the way to men's hearts is through a full menu of Irish favorites served until 11 every night and bar munchies served until 1 a.m. on the weekends. Ladies, you may have trouble getting any attention if you venture out during a soccer competition. Better to come after the game, when all that testosterone can be redirected toward a potential mate. With regular live entertainment in the main room and terrific local bands — like El and Truckstop Coffee — in the back "Banshee" room, there's always something going on that keeps the crowd circulating and prevents it from becoming just a stale set of Lake Worth regulars.
Hollywood Vine
Smart men in South Florida do exist, but they're not where you'd expect them to be — say, at the local Mensa meeting. That's because the regular Mensa meetings in Palm Beach and Broward counties are at the Bennigans just off Cypress Creek Road. Bennigans? Even a Chili's would be an improvement. Whatever. Here's where you can meet men smart enough not to settle for chain restaurants: Hollywood Vine. It's a smart wine shop featuring well-attended winetastings every Tuesday evening from 6 to 8. When they opened the shop last year, owners Luciano Armellino and Steven Kracow set out to create a sophisticated space of granite and mahogany where you can "unwind, enjoy, sample, savor, and socialize." So wander around the shelves containing up to 600 varieties of vino from around the world. Try one of the ever-changing varieties offered daily, ranging from $3 to $20 a glass, relax at one of the tables outside, or perch on a barstool in the back of the shop. You'll still be able to see who's walking down Harrison Street through the storefront glass. If you find a bottle you like and don't want to take it back home to share with the cat, crack it open there and wait for your social life to bloom.
Red Pearl Yoga
Do you come here often? I see you've moved beyond primary-level stretches and on to modified secondary; it really shows in your lotus. I have always fancied myself more of a Bikram yoga kind of guy, but when I see you glide into the plow, my body temperature jumps to 105. A little earlier I was rubbing some tiger balm on my muscles — they're very sore because I work out so much — and I couldn't help but notice that deep in your yoga bag is a copy of Essential Rumi; yeah, as far as medieval Persian philosophers go, he's one of my favorites too. I see that you're busy meditating right now — good work by the way, it looks like you're really in touch with your core. Maybe when you're done ensnaring your power animal, we could go out for some carrot sticks and ginger root and, you know, just shoot the shit about asanas, discuss the finer points of sublimation, and then go back to my place and, you know, adjust each other.
Capone's Flicker Lite Pizza and Raw Bar
In 1961, Vincent Capone owned the Flicker-lite Lounge on Grand Avenue in Chicago. Dreaming of warmer climes, he headed south to a sleepy town called Hollywood, where there was only one restaurant on the beach. Capone opened the second. His wife, Joan, did the cooking, and when they added Chicago-style pizza to the menu, a local institution was born. The Capone family still runs the place, which added waterfront dining in 1980, and some of the bartenders have been around since that decade. Another expansion in 1994 didn't mess with the local flavor. The barstools are still well-worn, the meatballs are still homemade, and every Bears game is still watched religiously. So Green Bay Packers fans may want to stay away on NFL Sundays.

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