Night Watch is a regular feature about bars and clubs by nightlife columnist Tara Nieuwesteeg.
The Bull Bar
2 E. Atlantic Ave.Delray Beach
Across from the Bull Bar was a park with an "ice skating rink" and a giant Christmas tree all decked out in blue, purple, red, and green lights.
Brandon the Bull Bar bartender was well-muscled and surfer-dude good-looking.
"We just got our Christmas decorations up a couple days ago," he told us, pointing at a giant wreath which was hanging over a small stage and awash in elegant white lights.
Besides the occasional Christmas light, stuffed snowman, or Santa Claus effigy, the Bull Bar's primary décor consisted of fish statues mounted on the tan walls, fishermen's photos, and a shitload of booze bottles neatly arranged on classy glass shelves behind the bar. Ashtrays dotted the surface of the bar, and the venue was small enough to only allow a few chairs and tables along the right side of the establishment. A tiny blonde woman sat along at the end of the bar, perusing the blackboard with the specials scrawled on it.
I noticed that, high up on the wall behind the bar, were a few dozen
wooden plaques with manly-man names inscribed on them: Ryan, Tommy,
"Whose names are those?" I asked the bartender.
"Those are the regulars," Brandon said. "This is a local hangout,
and the locals--middle-aged men, generally stock brokers and real estate
agents--come after work. I see 'em every day. Their names used to be
inscribed on the chairs. But when we changed to metal chairs, there was
no way to get the names on them. So we had to just put 'em on the
"Fair enough," I said. "Now, can you get me something Christmassy to drink?"
"Like what?" Brandon asked.
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"I don't know," I said in a whiny voice.
"We just got Strongbow cider last week," he said. "I guess maybe I should concoct a Christmas drink."
"We'll take the cider for now," I said. "But, if you're making a
Christmas drink, I suggest something with either peppermint or eggnog.
And put graham cracker crust around the rim."
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The petite blonde at the end of the bar followed my lead and ordered a Strongbow too.
"Wait, what's the alcohol content in this?" she asked.
"Five percent," the bartender told her.
Soon, I was going to need something a bit stronger.