Being a dad in Fort Lauderdale is tough. The rent is too damn high, your daughter probably dates a guy that looks like a sunburnt Skrillex, and your wife's parents are are constantly in town. But, thankfully, God invented alcohol and chicken wings. Every Fort Lauderdale dad needs a chill-ass place to totally dad-out — a place where they're unlikely to run into their wives and underage drinking sons. Basically, Fort Lauderdale dads rely on dad bars to keep them sane.
Fort Lauderdale is the perfect setting for a good old-fashioned pops place. In Fort Lauderdale, you can find places that have the feel of an Islamorada Tiki bar, with strong drinks and jukeboxes brimming with Steely Dan and Eddie Money. It's perfect for the dad that's just looking to forget about that $500 T-Mobile bill his daughter and her thumbs racked up last month texting that horrible boyfriend of hers (who you're 97% sure stole your favorite sunglasses).
Enough talk. Here are ten of the best dad watering holes in Fort Lauderdale. Let's drink.
What better place for a dad to go than a place named after his favorite '80's television show? Live music on the weekends, good chicken wings, and good drink specials. Plus, everybody knows your name — and it's not dad. It's almost like you exist!
At Mangos you'll routinely find live bands jammin' out the greatest dad jams of the '70s and '80s. At any given time there are over 40 dads on the dance floor doing straight up dad moves. None of this booty dancing crap, or doing that dance named after some guy named "Dougie". Who the heck is Dougie? (Besides the name of that stringy-haired monster dating your innocent angel). At Mangos you're more likely to find a fellow father that went to the same '92 Buffett concert than you are some shirtless, smooth-chested bro on spring break.
Nothing says dad bar like raw bar. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or your daughter's boyfriend and an uppercut. At Southport, there are tons of great seats out back on the deck that provide ample space for dads to exchange old fishin' stories over a few dozen of the slimiest oysters South Florida has to offer. No fussy business, just lots of dads in Guy Harvey shirts kicking the stuff.
7. Elbo Room
You know it's a Fort Lauderdale dad bar when there are license plates hanging on the walls. Don't know why, but dads love that shit. Elbo Room was the famous spring break spot when your dad used to break for spring. That might make you uncomfortable to think about, but it also may have resulted in your birth, so be thankful. Elbo Room is known for being in the 1965 George Hamilton film Where The Boys Are. Yup, dad bar certified.
Another one of those bars your dad probably knows from his Vietnam War era spring breaks, Coconuts was — and continues to be — the ideal dad joint. This place falls more under the "classy dad looking to take out his business partners for a drink" category, than it does the "classic drunk dad in sandals and khaki shorts" one.
Okay, so we've reached the portion of this list where things start getting down-right dadalicious. Parrot Lounge is a place that's been handed down from generation to generation, from granddad to dad. It has surprisingly good craft beer selections for a dad bar and colorful shirts are encouraged. Parrot is pretty dope, even if you're more of a dad, and less of a father.
You may have been to a Flanigan's. You may even say you love Flanigan's. But you do not love Flanigan's as much as a dad. Watching a hungry papa tear into a full rack of ribs with a cold pint of Coors Light at his side is like watching a starving lion stumble upon a free, all-you-can-eat zebra buffet. For God's sake, Flanigan's logo is literally the face of someone's dad.
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3. McSorley's Beach Pub
Every dad bar list must include an Irish pub. It's in the official dad rule book. And even dads can get behind the "Ladies Drink Free" nights they often have. Shout out to all you single dads out there. Get you some, padre!
2. Lulu's Bait Shack
The crowd at Lulu's is quite mixed, but during the week — especially during business hours — it's the perfect place for a dad to pull down his ball cap and stick his face in some suds. The view is great too! Dads love to look out over the beach as they visualize themselves on a boat, dumping the dismembered body of their daughter's boyfriend into the Gulf Stream.
1. The Dive Bar
Chances are you've seen this place as you've headed down to the beach over the years. And yes, it's exactly like what you've imagined. Some places view the term "dive bar" as a compliment. Then some go so far as to literally name itself The Dive Bar. If all things in life were named so literally, dads everywhere would go around introducing themselves as Tired Flesh ATM. The Dive Bar on A1A is for a certain kind of dad, the kind of dad that embraces his inner Fort Lauderdale, and enjoys surrounding himself with similar dad's that don't mind drinking barefoot in white tank tops.
What's the best part of being a dad? Watching your kids take their first step? No. The look in your child's eye when it tells you it loves you? No. Finally finding an affordable hit man to take out your daughter's boyfriend? Not even that. The best part of being a dad is getting to drown your sorrows at places like this. Dad life forever.