Night Watch is a regular feature about bars and clubs by nightlife
columnist Tara Nieuwesteeg.
Duffy's Sports Grill
1804 Cordova Road, Fort Lauderdale
Call 954-713-6363, or visit here.
Duffy's, a mega-monster sports bar, is just the
opposite of Tim Finnegan's. It's a corporate bar that has spread like
wildfire across the state of Florida, with locations both
brand-spankin' new and coming soon. I stopped in at the Deerfield
Duffy's, which is a warehouse-like sports bar with immaculate décor.
From my spot at the bar - which I reached by crossing an expansive dining hall and up a couple of stairs - I counted 33 flat screen TVs. The bartender, John - who carded me when I ordered a water - wore a yellow Duffy's shirt and informed me that the bar had every TV sports package. From my spot, I could make out NHL, NBA, WNBA, college baseball, golf, softball, and volleyball on the TVs. The walls were shamrock green, and the dining area was partitioned off with short walls, every few inches upon which sat a college or pro football helmet. Pictures, posters, jerseys, and stadium photos were clustered on each wall, clearly specifically measured for equal distance. The clientele was a mixture of races, ages, and genders; as I sat at the bar, three guys wearing Yankees caps walked in together.
Entrenched in a booth behind the bar, a young couple sat clinging to
each other and furiously locking lips every time the hockey game took a
"Duffy's sponsors Dolphins and Panthers party
buses," explained John. "People park here, and pay to go to the game.
That way, they can drink and not have to worry; we send chaperones to
watch out for them."
"Can I chaperone one of the buses?" I asked.
"If you worked here," countered John. "Plus, chaperones don't get to drink."
"Screw that, then," I said.
Since basically the only female athlete featured in the scores of
photos upon the walls was Anna Kournikova (not really renowned for her
tennis prowess) I decided to chat up the other pretty blonde in the
room. Cristina was petite with bright red nails. Her companion, Rob,
was dark-complexioned and thick.
"I came over to talk to her because I like pretty girls," I explained to Rob.
"Then why'd you pick her?" he asked, earning him a punch in the arm from Cristina.
"Earlier he said I didn't photograph well," she complained.
"I did not! I just said you look better in person!" Rob cried.
Cristina and I exchanged a glance.
"That's kind of a backhanded compliment," I said.
"Women," huffed Rob.
"I just moved here from Chicago," Cristina told me. "There are bars like this all over the place there."
"Big, warehouse-type sports bars?" I asked.
"Yeah," she said. "But honestly? In Chicago, the people are nicer."
"Welcome to South Florida," I said.
When I returned to my spot at the bar, the seat next to mine had been
occupied by a grey-haired man in a black leather jacket. He wore
several chains, looked like he'd just hopped off a motorcycle, and
introduced himself as Captain Jeff. Jeff told me his gig was acting as
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VP of a nonprofit that aims to give funerals to military vets whose
families can't afford it.
"I come in here about three times a week," he said of Duffy's, giving me a steely eye. "I love it here. This is a good place."
I didn't argue. I typically don't with dudes in leather jackets.