One would assume that the chances of bumping into a worldly, Italian opera singer at this easy-going beachfront bar are slim. Well, you know what they say about making assumptions. Well-dressed, gray-haired Neapolitan tenor Michael Tota deserved a singing part in any of the Godfather movies. His soaring bravado almost shakes the turquoise, tacky walls of this beachy dive as he sings "Con te Partiro," aka "Time to Say Goodbye."
Small surfboards decorate the walls of the eatery that serves seafood like Bahamian-style crab cakes for $10.95 and cocktails with names like Island Affair - a blend of Amaretto di Amore, Ketel One vodka, Admiral Nelson coconut rum, pineapple and cranberry juice for $7.50. Service is slow, but the amiable customers more then make up for the sidetracked bartenders. Mark Stowe, a Dublin, Ireland-native, sings U2 hits all night, with the help of some other patrons.
Dave Jackson, 42, plays in a rock band of his own. He says he likes Oceans Eleven, but has never had a karaoke experience equal in fun to that of Sports Den Pub and Bowling in Wilton Manors. Jackson pulls off "100 Years," by Five for Fighting in a comical, yet very accurate, falsetto.
Even after the tabs close and the lights turn on, the new friends at the bar stick around to tell jokes and down one last beer.
Oceans Eleven Lounge; 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, kitchen closes about 10:30 but the bar stays open until 2 a.m.; 3111 N. Surf Rd; Hollywood 954-927-5549.
-- KYLE TEAL