Here are SFGN's "Best of 2015" winners in the bars and clubs category in Broward County
Best Bar for Cocktails - Infinity Lounge
2184 Wilton Drive
Infinity Lounge is the local favorite that everyone seems to talk about when it comes to serving the best, over the top cocktails. Our readers not only chose Infinity in the top spot, but they raved about specifics: Lemon Drops, Cosmos, Berry Martinis, different varieties of Mojitos and Margaritas, and so much more.
Infinity Lounge is known for creating libation with fresh ingredients, served with a smile, all in a cozy industrial-chic atmosphere. It’s high-end, without the attitude. They even infuse their own vodka. (Try the cucumber if they have it available, it’s very refreshing!)
Along with their cocktails, they also carry many wines and craft beers. Happy Hour is every day from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., plus other specials. Check their Facebook regularly for updated specials and highlighted drinks!
Best Bar For Lesbians & Best Offline Place to Meet a Date (Girls) - Rumors
2426 Wilton Drive
It’s been almost two years since Rumors opened its doors and it’s been about that long since they’ve been a local favorite. With their daily drink specials and entertainment a few times a week, it’s no wonder they are one of the community’s most well-loved hangouts.
“When New Moon went out of business, we opened our doors and had the same clientele,” said Brendan Corman, Rumors Owner and General Manager. Ladies night is Thursday with Karaoke and 2-4-1 all day long. Ladies even receive 15 percent off their food bill after 9 p.m. It’s no wonder they were voted best bar for lesbians and best offline place to meet a date for girls.
“We’re a place that all facets of the community can come,” Corman said. “We offer events for everyone and we have such an eclectic crowd that everyone comes in and gets along.” The bar hosts events that benefit pets, the transgender community and AIDS research.
Looking for a day to come in? Every night has a different special — Wednesday is College Night with $1 drinks and drafts, Daisy Deadpetals performs on Friday, and there’s even a $13 taco buffet on Tuesdays. Don’t forget Sunday brunch when Evan Grushka is performing.
Best Bar, Best Place for Karaoke & Best Place to Dance – Hunters
2232 Wilton Dr.
At Hunters Nightclub, spirits are always elevated which creates a great place to dance.
“There’s a conversation that starts around 9 p.m. between our dee-jays and the people in the club and those words often lead to flirtatious sounds and a fun mix that carries on throughout the night and into the early morning,” said Bruce Howe, General Manager of Hunters Fort Lauderdale, explaining why the club was also voted Best place to dance by the readers.
Located in the heart of the gayborhood, Hunters presents themed nights for a variety of tastes from karaoke on Mondays and Tuesdays hosted by Don Casteel (They also won for Best Place for Karaoke) to disco dances to the wildly popular “Fur Fridays.”
The music of most dance nights is a mix of deep house, pop and classic disco from the Studio 54 era.
DJs who spin tracks in Hunters include DJ Sol, DJ Robbie Leslie, DJ Richie Rich and DJ Freddy Arends. It is not uncommon for confetti to fall from the ceiling as patrons dance the night away.
“Love is always in the air here,” says Mark Hunter, co-owner.
Hunter moved from Chicago a little over two years ago to open what he calls a “boutique nightclub” with his partner, Patrick Volkert. The couple, who claim 33 years of experience in the nightclub business, have also opened a sister nightclub under the same name in Palm Springs, Calif.
Their guidance in remodeling the club has been top of the line, says Howe.
“We have learned from the very best in the business,” Howe said.
And patrons have taken notice. On most weekends, there is a line waiting to enter the club. The bar, voted best in Broward County by readers of SFGN, includes Sal’s Starlight Lounge hovering above the dance floor. It is a space devoted to the late Sal DeFalco, who helped open the nightclub. DeFalco, voted best bartender in last year’s contest, recently died. He was known for being a part of the Studio 54 club scene in New York during the 1970s – when disco reigned supreme.
Sal’s legacy lives on with photographs of the bartender throughout the club.
Hunter and Howe say they are blessed to have an outpouring of community support and their business model is a success because of a dedicated team of management, bartenders, DJs, door men and bar backs.
“Fur Fridays,” for example, started as a themed night for bears and quickly turned into a can’t miss occasion for all. Such an evolution is a sign of a good thing, says Hunter.
“We’re accepting of everybody.” Hunter said.
There is a quieter lounge side of the nightclub for those who are not in the mood to dance, but yet still would like to meet friends for cocktails and conversation.
Hunters is a non-smoking, 21 and over nightclub and there is no cover charge.
And with three SFGN Best Of awards behind its belt this year alone it’s a must visit club.
Hours: 4 p.m to 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturdays, 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays.
Best Cocktail or Drink - Georgie’s Alibi $3 Long Island Iced Tea
Thursdays 9 p.m.
2266 Wilton Drive
For as far as anyone can remember, Long Island Iced Tea Night at Georgie’s Alibi has been a local tradition. And the world famous drink gets top honors this year.
Many places have tried to imitate the Thursday night gathering, but you just can’t beat the original. And when you walk into the bar, you’ll see hundreds of people enjoying the libation in giant mason jars. (I’ve seen the blue and brown varieties.) They sell so many of them, the bartenders have them lined up on the bar waiting for you. And at just $3, you can see why they are so popular.
And while you’re enjoying your drink, you’ll be listening to the latest hits, as Billboard reporting VJ Barry Browder mixes up the music as good as the drinks!
Best Place To Pick Up A Guy Offline – Ramrod
1508 N.E. 4th Ave.
Grindr just not coming through for you? Scruff eating up your data plan? Too many old tricks lurking on Adam4Adam?
How about giving the old fashioned way a try. Welcome to Ramrod – winner of SFGN’s Best Place To Pick Up A Guy Offline.
Yes, at Fort Lauderdale’s longest running leather, Levi and uniform bar the chances of you picking up a guy are very good indeed. This is where one can find men ready for action and not afraid to cop a feel.
Ramrod hosts a monthly “Pig Dance” on the first Saturday. This themed night also takes home its own prize from SFGN this year – Best Regular Event. The Pig Dance packs the place with beefy hunks, hairy men, leather enthusiasts and rough trade.
The back patio area is notorious for guys cruising for a hook-up. It is not uncommon for complete strangers to become fast friends at Ramrod. Quite simply, it is a throwback to a time when gay bars were an underground scene – dark, edgy and private.
The action usually picks up later in the evening and during the early morning hours as Ramrod tends to be the last stop on an out of towner’s bar hopping tour.
So turn off the computer, make your way to Ramrod and meet your guy the natural way.
Best Happy Hour – Village Pub
2283 Wilton Dr.
Wondering where to get your night started? The experts agree, Village Pub is the place to be.
For the fourth consecutive year, Village Pub was voted best Happy Hour by readers of the SFGN.
Centrally located in the gayborhood Village Pub is home to two bars staffed by friendly and knowledgeable bartenders, a staging area for drag shows and special events, a pool table, videos, dance floor, free wifi and outside patio seating for patrons to keep an eye on foot traffic.
“People feel at home when they are at Village Pub, and this creates a sense of ownership of the bar among our guests,” said owner Greg Phelps. “We often hear the Pub referred to as ‘my bar’ by our regulars and even those who only visit from time to time are made to feel welcome. Village Pub always strives to live up to its motto: Familiar Faces....Fresh Ideas!"
Village Pub offers a 2-4-1 Happy Hour Monday through Saturday until 9 p.m.
Best Gay Friendly Straight Bar - Funky Buddha Brewery
1201 NE 38th St. Oakland Park
(Winner 2015, three-way-tie 2014)
The Funky Buddha has made its mark on the South Florida craft beer scene since opening their Boca lounge five years ago. You can find their Hop Gun IPA, Floridian Hefeweizen, and seasonal specials in bars, restaurants and on supermarket shelves throughout the area. But if you don’t visit the Oakland Park taproom – open noon to midnight seven days a week -- you’re missing out.
Opened in 2013, in the developing Culinary Arts District, the 54,000 sq. ft. location is great for groups. It packs in crowds of 20-40 something singles and couples, with cozy seating to spare. Gay meet up “Proud to be Funky” happens at the Buddha the first Tuesday of each month from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. the neighborhood brew house is also kid and dog friendly. Children are allowed in the taproom with their parents until 8 p.m. Dog bowls are available out on the patio.
For budding craft beer enthusiasts, Buddha offers tours of their brewing facility every Saturday and Sunday at 2, 3, and 4 p.m. as well as Thursdays at 7 and 8 p.m. Tours are $5 per person and get you a pint glass to keep and beer samples along the way.