Ye Olde Falcon Pub
The mood is never the same: One minute you have some raving headbanger still stuck in '80s metal straining every vocal chord to belt out an Iron Maiden song, only to be followed three minutes later by a housewife gently whispering Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me." Or maybe the Motown Man goes after those high notes in a Jackson 5 or Smokey Robinson song. Then there's the blonde who does her weekly tribute to Britney Spears, and Italian Joe, with his heartfelt take on Sinatra. For those party people who just can't let go of the weekend, the Falcon Pub, which doesn't get hot till around midnight, boasts an extravagant video system that transforms even the sorriest performance into a video clip worthy of five minutes of stardom. A few Miami Dolphins have even been known to drop in from time to time. Before heading to Seattle last year for the playoffs, for example, quarterback Damon Huard and linebacker Larry Izzo thought it appropriate to test their pipes on Bob Seger's "On the Road Again." Big Dan was there, too, but Number 13 decided just to sit back and watch for a change. Who says Sunday nights have to be quiet and peaceful?
The point of happy hour has never been happiness. The point is excess -- more for less. So we like our happy hours dressed in something more than fried and something other than chicken wings. Tarpon Bend fits the bill on all counts. Drinks are two-for-one from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, but we prefer Tuesdays. That's when you can order a pound-and-a-quarter lobster for $9.99 or all the fried catfish you can eat for $14.95 or another equally great deal (depending on the season). On other days the happy-hour menu includes oysters or clams (steamed or raw), shrimp, or conch fritters, each for 25 cents, depending on the day. You can sit in the black booths, drink excessively, eat too many oysters, and study record-catch fish statistics chalked on the big board -- the most excessive stat describes a great white shark that weighed in at 2664 pounds. If you get drunk enough on the two-for-one martinis or flagons of Anchor Steam lager, you might even decide to buy some fishing tackle and take up the life. Rods, reels, hooks, lines, and sinkers are all conveniently displayed for sale in the front of the restaurant. And if you do your fishing 100 yards away on the banks of the New River, you'll be close enough to get back for happy hour the next day.
Tarpon Bend Food & Tackle
Michael McElroy
The point of happy hour has never been happiness. The point is excess -- more for less. So we like our happy hours dressed in something more than fried and something other than chicken wings. Tarpon Bend fits the bill on all counts. Drinks are two-for-one from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, but we prefer Tuesdays. That's when you can order a pound-and-a-quarter lobster for $9.99 or all the fried catfish you can eat for $14.95 or another equally great deal (depending on the season). On other days the happy-hour menu includes oysters or clams (steamed or raw), shrimp, or conch fritters, each for 25 cents, depending on the day. You can sit in the black booths, drink excessively, eat too many oysters, and study record-catch fish statistics chalked on the big board -- the most excessive stat describes a great white shark that weighed in at 2664 pounds. If you get drunk enough on the two-for-one martinis or flagons of Anchor Steam lager, you might even decide to buy some fishing tackle and take up the life. Rods, reels, hooks, lines, and sinkers are all conveniently displayed for sale in the front of the restaurant. And if you do your fishing 100 yards away on the banks of the New River, you'll be close enough to get back for happy hour the next day.
No neon bar sign. No pool table. No TV. At Alligator Alley there's just sweet, sweet music rolling out of a state-of-the-art sound system as hot and clean as any you'll hear in Broward County. Proprietor Carl "Kilmo" Pacillo and a consortium of investors opened the 10,000-square-foot club early last October. Since then an encouraging bevy of local and national acts has kicked out the jams from atop the Alley's huge main stage, with Leon Russell, the Wailers, Maynard Ferguson, Parliament/Funkadelic, and the Rev. Billy C. Wirtz all recently performing in the otherwise dreary strip mall in the heart of suburban Sunrise. And if superior music night after night starts to wear you down, maybe you can buck up with something off the menu. We recommend the buffalo gator with the brutal hot sauce, but then, we're gluttons for gastrointestinal punishment.
No neon bar sign. No pool table. No TV. At Alligator Alley there's just sweet, sweet music rolling out of a state-of-the-art sound system as hot and clean as any you'll hear in Broward County. Proprietor Carl "Kilmo" Pacillo and a consortium of investors opened the 10,000-square-foot club early last October. Since then an encouraging bevy of local and national acts has kicked out the jams from atop the Alley's huge main stage, with Leon Russell, the Wailers, Maynard Ferguson, Parliament/Funkadelic, and the Rev. Billy C. Wirtz all recently performing in the otherwise dreary strip mall in the heart of suburban Sunrise. And if superior music night after night starts to wear you down, maybe you can buck up with something off the menu. We recommend the buffalo gator with the brutal hot sauce, but then, we're gluttons for gastrointestinal punishment. UPDATED: This location is now closed.
Bluesman Ernie Southern does it all: He plays a mean slide guitar, he wields a wailing ten-hole harp, and he sells a demo tape that just won't quit, especially when he delivers it personally in his purple Ford like a man (you guessed it) "on a mission from God." The line from the 1980 John Landis film, The Blues Brothers, fits Ernie Southern almost as well as it did Belushi and Aykroyd. When we heard Southern's incendiary cover "All Over Now," sung Delta-style on Nova Southeastern University's 88.5 FM Sunday-morning blues hour (the second-best blues hour in the Western world, behind the original King Biscuit Flour Hour out of Helena, Arkansas), we called him up. Two hours later he was handing us a tape of the song for $5, thrust through the window of his vehicle like contraband. Now that's a bluesman.

Bluesman Ernie Southern does it all: He plays a mean slide guitar, he wields a wailing ten-hole harp, and he sells a demo tape that just won't quit, especially when he delivers it personally in his purple Ford like a man (you guessed it) "on a mission from God." The line from the 1980 John Landis film, The Blues Brothers, fits Ernie Southern almost as well as it did Belushi and Aykroyd. When we heard Southern's incendiary cover "All Over Now," sung Delta-style on Nova Southeastern University's 88.5 FM Sunday-morning blues hour (the second-best blues hour in the Western world, behind the original King Biscuit Flour Hour out of Helena, Arkansas), we called him up. Two hours later he was handing us a tape of the song for $5, thrust through the window of his vehicle like contraband. Now that's a bluesman.

If you missed saxophonist extraordinaire Clarence Clemons when his boss -- the Boss, Bruce Springsteen -- came to town with his E Street Band, don't worry. This Palm Beach County resident has put together his own local band, and when the Big Man wants a band, the best players around are at his beck and call. Of course he knows how to pick 'em, too. This six-piece metro-rock group is clearly a celebration of the communion of sax, guitar, violin, bass, keyboard, and drums. And getting to see Clemons and the band perform in such intimate settings as the Monkeyclub in West Palm Beach makes you believe in the power of rock 'n' roll all over again. And when the Springsteen tour ends this summer and Clemons returns to his condo on the beach, there'll be a lot more local appearances.
If you missed saxophonist extraordinaire Clarence Clemons when his boss -- the Boss, Bruce Springsteen -- came to town with his E Street Band, don't worry. This Palm Beach County resident has put together his own local band, and when the Big Man wants a band, the best players around are at his beck and call. Of course he knows how to pick 'em, too. This six-piece metro-rock group is clearly a celebration of the communion of sax, guitar, violin, bass, keyboard, and drums. And getting to see Clemons and the band perform in such intimate settings as the Monkeyclub in West Palm Beach makes you believe in the power of rock 'n' roll all over again. And when the Springsteen tour ends this summer and Clemons returns to his condo on the beach, there'll be a lot more local appearances.
In ever-transient South Florida, it doesn't take much to qualify as a local institution. Kim's Alley Bar, with roots back to 1959, undoubtedly makes the cut. And Laurrie Pood, who has been manning the bottles for seven years at Kim's, almost qualifies herself. Laurrie is the den mother of the mahogany front bar, serving up equal parts liquid anesthesia and emotional solace. She has a smile, a hug, and a drink for just about every weary soul who wanders into the place. You might momentarily feel like you're in Mom's kitchen waiting for the Sunday-evening pot roast to be served, except that the pot roast comes with ice cubes, doesn't give you heartburn, and magically lifts away your troubles, at least for the moment. Laurrie's benevolence extends beyond the bar as well. In March she traveled to Hawaii for a Leukemia Society of America marathon. She and a friend raised more than $5000 through fundraisers, begging, and hard work -- and they somehow actually ran 26 miles. Be wary, however, of Laurrie's advice when it comes to drinks. Her self-concocted specialty is the Drunken Monkey: Stoli strawberry vodka, banana liqueur, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and Sprite. "It's one of those things," she notes, "where people say, 'Make me something sweet that will kick my butt.'" Thanks, but we'll stick with her martinis.

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