A1A Dive Bar
3233 N. Ocean Blvd.
Navigate up A1A — past all the cars with Canadian plates, past all the tiny resorts and minihotels, past the part of Fort Lauderdale most of us townies don't usually see — and discover the Dive Bar. By the name of it, I knew this was my kind of place. It turns out, though, this Dive is more about the deep sea than it is about sinking into a chair and drinking your pain away. A life-sized Black Beard statue greets you at the door and ushers you into a paradise of booze, music, and indoor palm trees. Covered head to toe in a Key West-type nautical feel, the Dive Bar lures native South Floridians and Hawaiian-shirt-wearing tourists alike. Oversized sandals and fiberglass life savers (among many, many more maritime trinkets) hang on the walls alongside fish mounts as odes to Poseidon himself. But don't drink the saltwater. The Dive Bar has plenty of bottled beer — including a couple of micros — as well as wine and the harder stuff. I know the colorfully lit main stage is home to some of the hottest local bands (like Funky Blue Roots, Brother Bean, and the Heavy Pets), but I have no idea what the small stage (with the stripper pole) is for — or why it's dead in the center of the sitting area. Whatever. Bring in your six-string or harmonica and show your chops on open-mic Tuesdays. Or you can get drunk and sing along on karaoke Thursdays. Otherwise, drink your beer, eat the complimentary potato chips (which are always fresh), and let the pros pick at your heartstrings.