As far as dive bars go, some are much crazier than others. Some have crazy porn and topless bartenders. Others are just a good ole place to sit back, have a drink, a smoke, and an entertaining chat. Andy's Lounge and Package is the latter.
For years we've heard rumors of the dodgy antics taking place at the notorious West Broward dive bar. With that, we decided to check it out.
It was about midnight on Saturday night when a group of us finally decided to head on over to see what this dive is all about. After debating a huge loop around the highway -- we were heading north on Flamingo Blvd. from Pembroke Pines -- we decided to defer to iPhone directions to the spot. Just before reaching State Road 84, Miss Siri directed us to turn left into a charming little mobile home park. Just past the doublewide with couches and armchairs splayed out front, we were instructed to make a right into a Cumberland Farms gas station parking lot. We had arrived.
We parked directly in front of a tattoo parlor/barber shop and proceeded to make our way in. Not knowing what to expect -- rumors of this being the diviest dive bar in South Florida had set up some high expectations -- we were surprised to find a nearly empty smoke-filled space with pool tables and a long rectangular bar. We opted to survey the scene from the back corner.
About 15 minutes after ordering beers -- a slightly better selection than what is found in most dives - -a couple of non-English speaking, inebriated, young Latino men walked through the door. Unfortunately, our bartender spoke no Spanish nor did the one other customer in the bar. Luckily, with the help of my two years of introductory High School Spanish I was able to help the pair order a bottle of Bacardi Limon to take away from the 'package store': Andy's does have a license. They left and came back looking for lemons and salt. Although, somewhat worried, I ordered the wrong liquor--is lemon and salt with rum a thing? -- I proceeded to translate away again. As a token of their appreciation they left me $3.25 on the bar. I tried to give it back before the bartender smiled and laughed, "What are you trying to do to me? I'll take it."
Aside from that little humorous exchange, the bar was no where near as dodgy as we had heard: no severely old men wasting away on seats, no crazy drug dealers keeping an eye on the scene, no porn on T.V. Draft beers were served in glass. However, there were definitely some cigarette burns on the not-so clean bathroom sink: possibly an indicator of some nefarious late-night activities? The bar, which is open until 8:00 am, is favorite spot for the late-night restaurant and bar industry crowds. Or those who choose not to function during normal daylight hours. We hear the place starts hopping at around 3:00 am.
With friendly, and fully clothed, bartenders, in terms of South Florida, Andy's seems to be a fairly mild dive bar. Although we would like to see what takes place at 7:30 in the morning, then again, we'd probably get stuck in rush hour traffic on the way home -- not a good scene.