NightWatch is a regular feature about bars and clubs by nightlife columnist Tara Nieuwesteeg.
Mickey's 19th Hole Bar & Grill
2739 E Oakland Park Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
Mickey's is the kind of place that doesn't change much. Regulars are so comfortable, they'll interrogate anyone whose face they don't recognize. It's nothing personal; they just feel entitled. They own the bar, so why shouldn't they know what you're doing in it, taking notes?
"Have you written about me yet?" asked Patrick, a boisterous, ruddy-faced patron in a tan sport coat.
"No, any suggestions?" I asked.
"You can tell them that I'm a potato farmer from Rhode Island," he said. "And I say it's all about love and happiness."
The décor inside Mickey's was overwhelming. Photos, posters, and sports memorabilia; helmets, flags, and bowling pins; and a giant, artistic stack of beer cans have all been amassed during Mickey's 20 years in operation.
"We're established," said Tate, the gentle bartender. "We get a good crowd and have fun. Though we have our fair share of assholes."
After a few drinks, I left my post between Chuck Ramsey and John Hannah to check up on Patrick, who was downing a lipstick-red concoction and exhibiting signs of inebriation. "Someone really should write about all the bars in Fort Lauderdale," he said. "That'd be a novel. Well, a series of novels. With novellas and spin-offs based on each novel."
"I write about the bars!" I said.
"You want a reason to come here?" he said, talking over me. "This is the only bar you can come to see Marilyn Monroe's pussy," he said, very seriously. "This place hasn't changed in 20 years, and no one even notices her pussy anymore. But there it is, hanging out, plain as day!"
I was about to be offended. But before I could react, he pointed to the bar's infamous poster on the wall near his chair. "Right there! It's a pussy!" He laughed, slightly predatorily.
It sure was. Marilyn Monroe appeared gleeful and inebriated, and her private area was indeed slightly exposed. Decades before Britney Spears' and Paris Hilton's famous flashing incidents.
What can I say? This pit-stop pub is a great place to come for camaraderie, interesting characters, and indoor smoking. But as the regulars will tell you, Mickey's 19th Hole is also not a bad place to see Marilyn's hole. Ba-dum ching!