South Florida's nightlife scene can be fickle. What once was your favorite alterna-electro joint flipped to a merengue and bachata club overnight. Sure, the beats are still good, but you haven't the slightest idea how to move your hips so fluidly. And you miss your favorite DJs. Where did they go?
It's a world that's hard to keep track of, packed with dozens of surprises and great lighting. This past year, a bevy of new clubs and bars has arisen. Some of our favorite spots shuttered their doors, sure, but we've compiled a list of the top six new clubs in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach to help you, dear reader, find your favorite new hangout.
6. The Dubliner
210 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-523-1213, or visit dublinerfortlauderdale.com.
The original Boca Raton Dubliner opened in 2005. But club mogul Rodney Mayo brought his Irish-pub-with-a-hip-bent over to Himmarshee last summer, and it's been packed ever since.
Tuesday nights are run by venerable Fort Laudy man-about-town/Mission Veo frontman Jonny Veo and feature the liveliest ladies' night (women drink free till midnight) in the area. The club also hosts art exhibitions, cosplay nights, '80s dance parties, retro-videogame nights, and a wild assortment of themed date nights. There's lots going on here other than just drafts of Irish ale, but if you are looking for Smithwick's, there's kegs of the delectable red ale to go around. The Dubliner also brings in a different band every Friday and Saturday night.
5. Next Door
541 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-357-3934, or visit c-istudios.com.
Coffeehouse by day (beans brought to you by Brew Urban), library-themed lounge by night, this new venture by multipurpose media company C&I Studios provides a much-needed chill-ass hangout that was missing in the FAT Village Arts District. Heady English-major types have much to love inside the 3,000-square-foot confines of Next Door. With wall-to-wall books and cocktails inspired by famous music men like Ian McKaye (on the straight-edge menu) or writers like Jane Austin (for those who like booze), this place is a lit nut's dream.
4. American Social
721 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-764-7005, or visit americansocialbar.com.
It's been a while since we've had this much fun on Las Olas. Thanks to American Social and its extensive craft beer selection and stellar DJs — from Thursday through Saturday nights — we've found a new favorite among the strip's upscale restaurants, tourist-trinket traps, and Guy Harvey-loving art galleries.
With its self-serve beer taps and live music nights, we were in love at first Cigar City Jai Alai pour. This is a laid-back beer lover's paradise, where you can enjoy a break from Himmarshee shenanigans and hear some great tunes. We can drink to that all night long.
3. Bar Stache
109 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-449-1044, or visit barstache.com.
We were bummed to find out that Fort Lauderdale's indie dance hub Green Room was closing. But as the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens. Seeing Stache come to life in the former Green Room space brought a great big smile to our faces.
Set up like a 1920s speakeasy, this darkly lit cocktail lounge, nightclub, and concert hall surely creates a mood. Inside, it celebrates the "art of mixology," and what a magnificent art form it is (one of our favorites, perhaps). It's one the bartenders at Stache have perfected.
2. Pawn Shop Lounge
219 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Call 561-833-6500, or visit pawnshopwpb.com.
Miami's former center for kitsch, Pawn Shop was one of the most anticipated nightclubs to open on Clematis Street in a while. And with its Ferris wheel, VIP section made out of an airplane fuselage, and a mac-daddy (constructed out of a Mac truck) DJ booth, the Pawn Shop lives up to the hype.
A feast for the eyes and the ears, it all might seem extravagant, but Pawn Shop is decidedly not so. It's the eclectic, relaxed dance club that Palm Beach County was craving.
114 S. Narcissus Ave., West Palm Beach. Visit facebook.com/camelotwestpalm.
This future hot spot hasn't even opened yet, and it's already the talk of the town. Another Rodney Mayo venture, we wonder if the man ever sleeps! Palm Beach County's nightlife impresario is up to his old tricks with this new "upscale" venue in downtown West Palm Beach.
In an interview with County Grind, Mayo told us that Camelot would be a nightclub geared toward the "sophisticated South Floridian."
The club is an homage to the Kennedys' "Camelot lifestyle," a tribute to historic Palm Beach families' love of the ocean and sailing. Yacht rockers, take note. Camelot will be located on South Narcissus Avenue, offering a distraction from the drunken rowdiness of Clematis Street, a venue where one can relax in one's own Sperry Topsiders in the most nonironic way and enjoy a nice, single-malt whiskey.