Cocktails & Spirits

Seven South Florida Bars Every Steelers Fan Should Visit

Heinz Field is almost 1,200 miles away from South Florida. That's like 16 hours by car. But even if you manage to hitchhike your way past the Appalachian Mountains and West Virginia's backwoods, chances are you probably won't be able to land a ticket.

But no need to fret! Geographically isolated from the Steeler Nation, South Florida is in many ways an honorary outpost, and on any given game, you can find yourself a cozy bar to either praise Mike Tomlin or crucify him with other like-minded Steelers fans who bleed black and gold just like you do.

If you're a real South Florida Steelers' fan, you've probably stopped by all of these (and the bartenders all know you by name), and if you haven't, well, what are you waiting for?!

7. Dave's Last Resort

This Lake Worth establishment is an oasis where beer lovers and sports fan unite. Step inside and NFL memorabilia lines the wall: anything from jerseys, posters, and signs. While they also root for the Dolphins, that's only because of their South Florida location. The namesake owner Dave is a Pittsburgh native and die-hard Steelers fan. It's casual here, so come over in your unwashed lucky Steelers socks and get messy with their game-day drink specials.

6. Billy's Tavern

Hidden at the end of a strip mall, this Davie gem is an honorary territory of the Steeler Nation. With a TV on every wall, on game day, most will be showing Mike Tomlin keeping his cool on the sidelines as the black and gold dominate. While other Steelers bars might not be known for their hospitality, at Billy's they welcome all teams, but if you're a Browns fan, you might want to come early to nab a corner booth and keep your head down.

5. Wayward Sailor Pub

With a simple Pittsburgh City of Champions flag waving outside, this Wilton Manors pub will make any Steelers fan feel at home. Serving the Pittsburgh classic Iron City beer, it also serves free Jell-O shots every time the Steelers score. Management jokes that the Jell-O shots should really be black and yellow, but those flavors don't taste very good. If you happened to have misplaced your favorite Steelers jersey, the shirts they sell here conveniently come with the red, yellow, and blue hypocycloids branded on them. Come a little before kickoff, because the place is known to fill up, but stay once the game ends for celebratory happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m.

4. Off the Ave Food & Spirits

A Delray spot known for its thin-crust pizza, Off the Ave also creates camaraderie by giving free shots whenever a car drives the wrong way on the one-way street outside. While this usually keeps most patrons on edge with their eyes glued to the window anticipating the next confused driver and free drink ticket, during the Steelers game, the attitude changes. From businessmen to laid-back barflies, Steelers fans of all shapes and sizes are attracted to the Steelers game on TV. Just be careful if you walk in with a Patriots shirt or a Tom Brady jersey; patrons are known to start some harmless mischief. BTW, the Philly cheese-steak sandwich is a can't-miss.

3. Bonefish Mac's Sports Grille

Owners Chuck and Jane McLoughlin have been in South Florida for more than 25 years, but the loyalty to their hometown of Pittsburgh hasn't waned. While they have locations in Wellington and Port St. Lucie, it's the Lighthouse Point outpost that Steelers fans have flocked to over the years. Be sure to arrive early and decked in your favorite jersey or hat, because they fill up every game and don't take reservations. And be sure to try the Steeler Menu, available only on game day, when they serve the Big Ben Burger, Robins Burger, pierogies, and of course, Iron City beer.

2. East Side Pub

Dubbing itself "the Pittsburgh of Fort Lauderdale," East Side Pub caters to any Pittsburgh-based sports team, like the Penguins and the Pirates, but the Steelers are definitely their main squeeze. Black-and-gold memorabilia coats every inch of the walls, and while they're known to fill up quickly before every game as fans flock from the tricounty area, at least you know you'll be sardined inside with your fellow compatriots. And don't worry: With ten TVs lining the walls, there isn't a bad seat in the house.

1. Rooney's Public House

The Rooney family founded this Jupiter gastropub in 1997. Sixty-four years earlier, the same Rooney family also founded THE Pittsburgh Steelers. A one-stop for everything black-and-gold-related, it plays every game on the plasma TVs and over the years has attracted South Florida's most fanatic fans. Management recommends arriving an hour before the game starts to secure a seat. With drink specials on the signature Rooney's Red Ale (which is fittingly brewed in Pennsylvania) and some other Pittsburgh classics like pierogies and "Steelers Stew" made with mutton, it's the next best thing to Heinz Field.

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Jess Swanson is a staff writer at New Times. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami’s School of Communication and wrote briefly for the student newspaper until realizing her true calling: pissing off fraternity brothers by reporting about their parties on her crime blog. Especially gifted in jumping rope and solving Rubik’s cubes, she also holds the title for longest stint as an unpaid intern in New Times history. She left the Magic City for New York to earn her master’s degree from Columbia University School of Journalism, where she spent a year profiling circumcised men who were trying to regrow their foreskins for a story that ultimately won the John Horgan Award for Critical Science Journalism. Terrified by pizza rats and arctic temperatures, she quickly returned to her natural habitat.
Contact: Jess Swanson