The single life. It can be a tumultuous time, particularly when you're young. By design, it usually involves awkward "plenty of fish" conversations, uncomfortable first dates, barely satisfying one night stands, nacho cheese, and fake cell phone numbers written on napkins. All the while, you see pictures of your "happily married" friends busting out babies like nobody's business and building that new extension to their immaculate two-story dream house.
But let's be honest, there is still something so inherently thrilling about the chase, about the prospect of meeting one's soul mate, or at least finding a warm cozy body to snuggle with -- if just for one night. Some singles wouldn't trade it for the world, and some married folks look at their single friends, and the endless pictures of wild nights with busty blonds, with endless scorn.
So let's all relish in singlehood, and all the ups and downs that come along with the ride. For those still "living the life," County Grind has amassed a nice collection of the best places to play the game for a night. After the jump, read our list of the top ten pickup joints in Palm Beach County.
1. The Lake Worth Pier
This is a top locale to pick up that crusty surfer brah you've been dreaming of. Picture Keanu Reeves' character from Point Break, only much scruffier and with gnarlier facial hair. Those are the type of dudes you'll meet at this Lake Worth break. Come here during the middle of the week and in the morning to meet the crème of the crème. Don't expect dudebros with jobs here, just guys with toned bods and deep tans with saltwater aromas who are out for good times.
This is where the magic happens at Blue Martini. Especially if you are looking for those sassy executive working gals or enterprising paralegals donning Jones New York. No matter how bad your game is, half-priced cucumber lemonades or creamsicle crush martinis go a long way in filling in your conversational gaps, making you seem that much more dashing. Make sure you brush up on your knowledge of investing, and if you don't have a portfolio, be ready to do some research and have some risky hedge funds and low risk investments on deck to talk about in between sips of fueled libations.
There is no better equalizer than shots of top shelf tequila and the blue agave drinks certainly flow like wine at these Palm Beach County party spots. At Rocco's you are sure to meet that party girl who's fresh out of college, drank a wee bit too much, and probably won't remember your name when she's politely kicking you out in the morning. But who cares right? You didn't come to Rocco's Tacos and take body shots to meet your soul mate, did you? Really?
4. Turn 3
This West Boca Raton establishment is where you'll meet the ideal "cheap date." Herein you'll find that girl or guy in cutoff jean shorts that cares way too much about NASCAR and hates Jeff Gordon more than Barack Obama (it's a close race though). Ladies, be ready to grab a headful of mullet if you take a guy home from this haunt. Fellas, be ready to loan out your white tank tops (aka wife beaters) the next morning. For best results, screen Days of Thunder before heading out to this drinking establishment. And remember the take home: rubbing is racing.
If you are person with a new puppy, there is no better place to pick up the opposite sex than this Delray Beach dog-lovers hideaway. You don't even have to mack here fellas, let your cutie-pie Jack Russell do all the heavy lifting and watch all the gals flock your way. Make sure to act responsibly and bring your pooper scooper though, this isn't your neighbor's front yard. Be conscientious, we know the dog crap is biodegradable but you need to act especially caring of your pup, like his turds don't bother you. You know how there are people that love their dogs, and then there are people that love their dogs. Be the latter, make it seem like Spencer (your newborn Jack Russell of course) is more like your newborn child.
6. Whole Foods
Here you'll meet the ladies fresh from working out, young moms in spandex eagerly staying fit, stocking up on kale, quinoa, and tempeh. There's also a multitude of vegetarians, pescatarian, and vegetarian dudes, some in dreads and industrial earrings, and others simply health food fanatics with tight fitting muscle shirts. Lunchtime is ideal, plenty of opportunities arise when in the warm food section, choosing between vegan burgers or beet hummus, or in the smoothie line, which is always a little longer during the lunch rush.
As far as Downtown West Palm Beach locales go, Bradley's may be the most inclusive of the lot. It offers up the best of both West Palm Beach worlds, drawing as many people from the "Island," as it does from "the wrong side of the tracks." For the most part, it's a yuppie-centric playground though, where entrepreneurs drive up to the waterfront locale in their sparkling new BMW 5 series and tie clips to mingle with FAU students, trust fund babies looking to slum it for a night, and even a few a local musicians. The happy hours are raucous and the evenings offer up even more revelry. There's bands too on most nights, bringing with it the unpredictability of the live music crowd. Hands down, Bradley's is probably the most established pick-up spot on our list. Lots of options to choose from.
This is where you'll find that mustachioed fixed-gear riding homeboy who acts as if he doesn't care about his hair, but who secretly spends at least 30 minutes camped out with a hair straightener before going out. There are also a wide assortment of musicians and artists and general Lake Worth creative sorts to choose from. They are all broke of course, but you wouldn't go to Propaganda to meet a sugar daddy (we'll get that next, hold your horses).
For the fellas, Thursday's ladies' night, and its complimentary cocktails until midnight bring out the women in droves. This reggae-intense night attracts an entirely differently type of gal than the standard Suicide Girl lookalikes that normally frequent this indie dive. You'll find ladies with flowing blouses and no bra underneath with glossy eyes and hemp bracelets abounding. Catch up on your Grateful Dead and Jimmy Cliff before heading out, you know, for small talk's sake.
Located inside posh and pricey Chesterfield Hotel, the name of this chic lounge says it all. Cougars fill this Palm Beach island hotspot to the brim. The kind of silver-haired old money honeys that can wipe out student loans in one fell swoop and who valet their Bentleys and Rolls Royces before heading in to savor the Leopard Lounge's renowned caviar.
With dark woods, glossy black leather booths, and hand-painted ceilings, you'd think you just stepped into The Great Gatsby novel. Plenty of gentlemen in their 50s too are eagerly awaiting the next beauty in their 20s to decorate their arms. Wear your best Patek Philippe knock-off watch for this one, as you are likely to be rubbing elbows with a hotel heiress of some sort. The right kind of hookup here can make sure even your kid's kids are set for life.
10. The generic sports bar during a kickball team's post game celebration
Even if you think kickball should be reserved exclusively for kids in elementary school, you have to realize that single people join kickball teams for one reason, and it's not to score runs. They want to meet people, mingle, and partake in the camaraderie that comes with a team sport. Some are new in town, others looking for a fresh crowd to hang out with; whatever it is, there's a void to fill. It doesn't matter if you play kickball really, just eavesdrop on the "socially active" guy in the cubicle next to you and find out where his team is going for drinks after the game, and crash the party. Perhaps wear those snugly fit shorts that baseball coaches use to fit in.
Bonus: Local non denominational church service, or for more concentrated flirting, try a non denominational church's singles night.
What most people don't know about these type of services is attendees generally tend to be more open minded than traditional churchgoers. There are a multitude of born-agains (former bad girls) mending their ways or spiritually lost (broke investment brokers) individuals looking for answers. Both these scenarios offer up the single person on the prowl opportunities.
What all this means is, you don't even have to be the type that quotes Ezekiel like it's written on the back of your hand to stand a chance. You just have to show that guy/girl who has caught your eye some Jesus initiative and relax. Have faith.