Owner Johnny Pennington, 58, occasionally implements an unconventional form of trade for female customers who’d rather not pay cash for booze. He takes their bra.
The ceiling of the gruff, Broward bar is decorated with bras and pantyhose – each exchanged for a drink. The bar boasts the kind of down-home, unpretentious crowd that would happily sacrifice undergarments. Pennington claims he even discovered a bra size he never knew existed one night when a woman handed him a size I. “We get a lot of women who get naked on occasion,” Pennington says. “But that’s not a requirement.”
Thursday is Frank-E-oke, or normal karaoke night and Wednesdays’ Scaryoke brings out the Goth crowd. The blue-collar pub is well-lit, showing off all the fishnet stockings, black lipstick, tattoos, and even metal claws the Goth patrons don. But for such a “dark” crowd, they sure sing some light songs. Two brunettes with heavy eye makeup sing Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” and the guy with the claws and tight, black leather pants rocks out to “Come Sail Away by Styx.”
While sitting at the bar, the karaoke noise is off in the background – far quieter than any other bar observed in our trek. An old cigarette machine, three dart boards, a pool table and a menu of pub grub makes the place a one-stop shop. Tuesdays and Sundays offer 29-cent wings.
Local marketing director Andrew Green, one of the few entertainers who didn’t dress like a wannabe vampire, sang Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt,” and was proud to be completely sober. “This is the first time I’ve done karaoke and could actually hear myself,” he says with a laugh.
“I let anybody come in here,” Pennington says. “I don’t care what your religious beliefs, ethnicity, political orientation or anything else is. They all come in here, including T-girls,” (apparently an abbreviation for transsexuals).
Johnny’s Fuci-Fino’s, 2500 W. Oakland Park, Oakland Park; 954-733-1985; Scaryoke starts at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Frank-E-oke from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursdays.
— KYLE TEAL