BAMBOO BEACH TIKI BAR AND CAFE @ OCEAN MANOR
4040 Galt Ocean Dr; Fort Lauderdale; 954-566-7500
Patrons and servers describe this poolside tiki bar right on Fort Lauderdale beach as “a Michigan bar.'' Bartenders wear Detroit Red Wings jerseys; the ceiling of the tiki bar is decorated with flags for the Michigan State Spartans and the Michigan Wolverines.
“If you're a Boston fan, they'll serve you, but they won't like it,'' says Oakland Park resident Mike Cantrell, 23, who says he hangs out at the pool and cozy bar for the great service and lively crowd. Hospitable bartenders keep the sloppy locals happy and know all their names. The small, heated pool itself is nothing special, but the bar - loud with locals buying rounds of shots and bumming cigarettes - is about 100 feet from the beach's gentle waves. Waverunners and jet skis are also available for rent nearby. Nine small TVs show the game, and a 4 to 7 p.m. happy hour brings out the cheap drunks with its half-off deal on everything except super premium liquor. One of the bar's bestsellers is Voodoo Juice with four flavored rums and cranberry, pineapple and orange juices for $8. Cabana rentals run $50.
Such celebrities as retired b-ball star Dennis Rodman enjoy Sunday's Caribbean pig roast, according to owner Frank Talerico. Wedding parties are scheduled constantly: One Philadelphia couple interviewed was staying at the hotel next door but decided to hold their wedding at Ocean Manor. A major selling point: the tiki bar, open every day until midnight.
-- KYLE TEAL
Ocean Manor pool and tiki hut