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Night Watch: Packy's Sports Pub

Packy's Sports Pub

4480 N. Federal Highway, Lighthouse Point.
Call 954-657-8423, or visit here.

If the sign facing Federal Highway can be trusted, "Packy" is a violent-looking, biceps-flexing, auburn-bearded Irishman. His bar, Packy's Sports Pub, occupies the building next to the now-defunct John L. Sullivan's. A few months ago, that tried-and-trued Lighthouse Point pub closed its doors (I was extremely irritated). On September 10, Packy's place opened, catering to sports fans, music lovers, poker players, and, of course, the barless crowd of former Sullivan's regulars. Not to mention the occasional retired stock trader and plenty of sexy 20-somethings.

But enough of the boring backstory. I walked past dartboards, flashing game machines, an ample stage area, and plenty of wall-mounted TVs showing football to grab a spot at the bar.

"Who are you rooting for?" the guy next to me asked.

"Aaron Rodgers," I responded.

"I think Green Bay is going to win the Super Bowl," David, who was older and trim, predicted.

"I hope," I muttered.

"This place is great, eh?" he said. "What do you do?"

I answered him and politely returned the question, to which he replied: "Retired stock trader."

"Oh," I said, still staring at the brew selection. "You're rich?"

"Nah," he said. "My wife spends all my money. Before her, my ex-wife spent all my money. Plus, I'm putting my two daughters through college -- and they spend all my money."

Just then, one of Packy's two owners, Jeremy, who is large and super smiley (or smug, I couldn't tell), wandered down the bar.

"Hey, what happened to John L. Sullivan's?" I immediately demanded. Lucky I asked, because Jeremy then informed me that he had owned John L. Sullivan's.

"Sold it, got a partner, and opened this place," he told me. "Couldn't part with the bar, though."

I looked down at the smooth wood underneath my fingertips.

"Wait, this is the same bar?" interjected David.

"About eight guys plus me hauled this thing over here from next door," Jeremy said. "Sanded it, refinished it, and it's good as new. Oh, also, there were a lot of layers of flooring in here that we had to tear up."

"What?" I asked.

"This place was a Flanigan's in the 1970s," Jeremy said. "It's been many different restaurants and bars since then, but they always tiled over the previous place's flooring. When we ripped it all up, we found matches, menus, all kinds of stuff from all those old places."

"Like a time capsule," supplied David.

I was beginning to notice that much of the paraphernalia -- trophies, framed Aikman jerseys, boxing gloves -- were also directly hauled over from Jeremy's previous Irish bar. And even at less than a month old, the joint was already swarming. People crowded the bar, ate at tables, and played poker in the back. Packy's was packed.

"It's usually about like this," one of the bartenders, also a beloved local musician, noted.

I introduced myself to a trio of attractive, rowdy, drinking young people.

"My name is Jessica without the ica," Jessa, freckled with red-brown hair, said.

Her friend Melissa was petite and dark-eyed; Danny was dark-complexioned with curly black hair. They were playing a complicated pen-and-paper game that involved the currently competing football teams' names as well as many boxes with scribbled initials. I dared not inquire further.

"Why do you guys like the bar?" I asked. "It's new, so whaddaya think, is this place gonna make it?"

"We love this bartender," Jessa said. "Also, this is basically the first bar in Pompano that isn't a dive."

"And it has the three most important things in life," Danny said, ticking off on his fingers: "A stage. Burgers. Guinness."

He paused. "Four things," he corrected

himself. "Also, sports."

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Tara Nieuwesteeg

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