Bars and Clubs Guide 2015: Palm Beach County

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Blue Front BBQ Bar & Grill
1132 N Dixie Highway
Lake Worth

Wednesday Nights “The Sexy Show – Mild-2-Hot”

The latest gay scene in Palm Beach County is the Blue Front BBQ Bar & Grill with their Wednesday night “Too Sexy Show – Mild-2-Hot,” from 9:30 p.m. to midnight featuring DJ Q and award winning diva, Velvet Lenore with her hand-picked performers.

Reservations are welcome for parties up to 50 to enjoy the entertainment. Special arrangements can be made by calling the number above.

The kitchen offers a selection of barbecue and tapas until 11 p.m. and the bar is open until 2 a.m. Well drinks are available for $3; domestic drafts are $2. Jell-O shots are two for $5.

“The current most popular drink is the Skittle Shot,” said general manager Rodney Briguglio. “They’re made with real Skittles dissolved in Vodka and enhanced with some secret ingredients,” he added.

“We’re basically a gay environment but we welcome everyone and the crowds are increasingly mixed,” he said.

So is the entertainment. Originally launched in July of this year primarily as a drag venue, the entertainment has evolved to include a variety of offerings including fire dancers, pole dancers, an improv line up and more.

“Velvet and I are both excited by what’s happening entertainment-wise,” Briguglio said. “Different performances attract different audiences that that expands our reach.”

- Donald Cavanaugh

Sundays at Camelot in West Palm Beach
114 S. Narcissus Ave
West Palm Beach

On Sunday evenings in downtown West Palm Beach, Camelot, a yacht-themed private club, opens its doors to the public and invites promoter and host, Jon Elu and his co-host Chris Rhodes to organize a unique drag show under the direction of local diva Daisy Deadpetals.

“It’s so much fun,” said Ximena Cordelo, general manager of the club. “The drag queens go outside and talk with the people on the street and in the cars.”

“Everyone loves it,” she continued. “Straights as well as gays; the way it should be.”

The club opens at 5 p.m. and the shows are at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Good for the people who want to have a little end-of-weekend fun but not be out too late on a work night.

According to Elu the club averaged 50 to 60 guests every week.

Light appetizers are available and the club features Perfect Vodka drinks for $5. The most popular cocktail last season was the bloody Mary.

The promoters struggled for a name for the program. “We used to call it a T dance,” said Elu but it’s not a dance and there is no tea so we settled for the “T” and we’ll see how it sticks.”

-  Donald Cavanaugh

Moveable Mixers Stop Moving
Royal Poinciana Plaza
340 Royal Poinciana Way Ste 300
Palm Beach

For five years, Charlie Fredrickson and a few friends have organized Second Sunday movable mixers at a variety of venues such as the Chesterfield in Palm Beach and the Players Club in Wellington.

During the past year their moveable mixers have morphed into a more stable enterprise as they have been welcomed by Del Frisco’s Grille on Royal Poinciana Way in Palm Beach.

According to Fredrickson the mixers found Del Frisco’s Grille through Tony Peterson, manager and sommelier at the restaurant and member of the Prime Timers International group that meets monthly at Compass.

And, according to Fredrickson, the number of attendees continues to grow with more than 60 men and women gathering for the last two months.

“We’ve been really happy at Del Frisco’s,” Fredrickson said. “Why keep moving the location when you’ve found a great thing?”

“They offer a wonderful selection of appetizers and drinks at a reasonable price and their red and white house wines are excellent and only $5 per glass,” he continued.

A who’s who of the gay community continues to attend. “We also get people from other parts of South Florida and the Treasure Coast,” said Fredrickson. “And the number of women continues to increase.

- Donald Cavanaugh

Fort Dix
6205 Georgia Ave
West Palm Beach

Nestled among neighbouring industrial buildings on a street that gets pretty dark at night, Fort Dix has plenty of light outside welcoming a regular clientele of mostly middle-aged men.

The inside is almost as dark as the outside. With dark walls and dim lighting the bar is nevertheless welcoming to many.

“We’re a friendly neighbourhood bar,” said manager Dale Ludwig, answering questions while keeping customers’ glasses full. “We’re also reaching out to the bears and the leather community,” he added. “They need a place to go and we’d like them here.”

According to Ludwig, the Palm Beach Leather Men and South Florida Minotaurs hold regular meetings and classes. Other entertainments include Jared Scott’s Skaraoke Tuesday and occasional visits from porn star Richard Cody, head of Studio XXX.

The bar offers daily specials including Hump Day Wednesdays with domestic beer at $2 all day and all night.

According to Ludwig the most popular beverages are Jaegerbombs and Firecrackers.

Fort Dix was opened in 1988 by Daniel Williams and Mark Koslowski who gave the bar its original name, Koslow’s. When Koslowski left the business in 2006, Williams renamed the bar Fort Dix.

- Donald Cavanaugh

The Mad Hatter Lounge
1532 N Dixie Hwy.
Lake Worth

The Mad Hatter Lounge is the last gay bar in Lake Worth. There used to be several and many downtown. No more.

Ron Amodio and Tim Rice bought the bar in December 2012. Since then, it’s gotten a facelift both inside and out. With lighter walls and softer lighting inside and some plants with flags and decor on the outside, there’s an upbeat feeling for regulars and visitors alike.

“We’re definitely a neighborhood bar,” said co-owner Tim Rice. “I think you’ll find that all four of the remaining bars in Palm Beach County see themselves that way. Some people like us; some like Roosters; some Fort Dix and some Penny’s. Some people visit all of us; others not at all.”

There are nightly specials every week. The current favorite is an $11 beer bust from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. At 8 p.m. on Wednesdays the bar hosts bingo, a perennial favorite. And a new item that Rice says “brings ‘em in,” is a hot male dancer every Thursday at 11 p.m.

“The most popular beverage is vodka or beer, depending on the crowd,” Rice said. “And don’t forget karaoke is Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. with Frank-e-oke.”

- Donald Cavanaugh

Penny’s at the Duke
902 N Dixie Hwy.

The Duke opened in 1946 and keeping the name was part of the purchase agreement for Penny Johnson to buy the business. A patron suggested Penny’s at the Duke and it stuck. Then Penny laid down 9,000 pennies in urethane to physically lay claim to the name and opened the place in August 2013.

Penny’s is a neighbourhood gay bar with a twist. A bunch of straight customers came with the territory and have stayed to become part of the regular crowds.

“They have fit right in with us,” Johnson said. “They sing karaoke (DJ Crazy J) with everyone else on Wednesdays from 7 to 11 p.m. and they stay for the drag shows.”

Penny’s forbids smoking inside. There are two patios where people can take their drinks and smokes and most do without complaint.

“The policy has been well accepted,” Johnson said. “No one likes going home reeking of smoke.”

The bar has lots of specials, which can be viewed online at their Facebook page. The current favorite beverage is cinnamon whiskey called fireball.

And whether you’re female or male, you’re welcome to be one of “The Ladies Who Brunch” on first Sundays at noon.

- Donald Cavanaough

H.G. Roosters
823 Belvedere Rd
West Palm Beach

Established in 1984, Roosters is the longest continually operating gay bar in Palm Beach County. Located on Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach, the bar is less than a quarter of a mile east of I-95 so it’s a convenient location for customers from all of Palm Beach County and points north such as Martin and St. Lucie counties.

“We’ve come a long way,” said manager David Hazen. “Roosters has completed an extensive remodel and recently instituted a no smoking policy,” he added. “So we updated and expanded the outdoor patio area to accommodate the smokers,” he continued.

According to Hazen, Roosters is community oriented and always involved in charity events.

“Roosters always has a neighborhood vibe but we step it up,” he added. “Thursdays through Sundays we bring in a DJ and put on some fantastic shows. We have daily specials that draw great crowds.”

On Sundays at 11 p.m., they have karaoke with Jeremy and OffKey Entertainment. A variety of drink specials are available all night.

On first Sundays they have a barbecue on the back patio. The bar opens at 3 p.m. and the cookout starts at 5 p.m. Dancers arrive around 6.

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