Sinful Sundays at Johnny’s Pours the Past
Approximately a year and a half ago, former Cathode Ray bartender Matt Hakaim took over Sunday Happy Hour at Johnny’s Fort Lauderdale. His intent was to make Sunday at Johnny’s the place to be. On a recent visit to the bar, I witnessed a mix of patrons, young and old, conversing and laughing with each other as if they were being filmed for a revival of Cheers.
As Matt pours me my half-priced beverage, he tells me about his event. “I have been running Sundays as ‘Sinful Sunday’ for almost a year now. Officially we start at 2pm, but the bar really starts filling up around 5.” Matt states, “Typically the 20 or so patrons arriving before 5pm want to experience personal attention and share some great stories before the crowd arrives.” The group begins to thicken around 6pm but never gets too large.
SFGN bachelor Brendan Broderick has been attending Sinful Sunday’s since its inception. “I would say the reason most people attend is because of Matt. He served me the first drink I ever had in Fort Lauderdale at Cathode Ray seven years ago and I have been going to his bar ever since.”
A pivotal moment for Sinful Sunday’s came this past December. “I wanted to give back to the community and thought Kids In Distress would be a great partner.” Matt recalls, “I personally bought drinks for all of the customers who came with gifts in hand.” The celebration was a huge success and Matt collected over $5,000 in new toys for the organization. “Ever since then, my attendance has been growing by 5-10% weekly.”
On the day I attended ‘Sinful Sundays’, I witnessed a crowd ranging from 20-somethings to 60-something’s. “Some people may think the odd mix of people would be awkward.” Matt explains, “The older folks tend to be the first ones there and toward the later part of the evening, the younger crowd moves in. Oddly enough the groups mesh very well and many of the older clientele have now become great friends with those half their age.”
Frequent patron Daniel Brennan states, “Sinful Sunday’s attraction lies in its memorable ambiance and plethora of friendly people, both staff and patrons. Not to mention it fulfills certain hedonistic pleasures absent in other venues.”
As some venues in the area have experienced a decline in revenue, patrons of ‘Sinful Sundays’ are spending much more now than they have in the past. When Matt first took over Sunday Happy Hour, he was lucky to bring in $300 including tips. Now, after developing a very loyal following, totals are much higher.
“Overall, my Sunday’s have become a big success at Johnny’s. Sean David, the owner, told me that it is one of the most popular attractions that the bar offers,” said Matt.
To build on his success, Matt has introduced a series of promotions to entice customers to sin even more. “I have been mailing out SIN CASH to the people who have registered as ‘sinners’ on www.sinfulsundays.com.” Furthermore, patrons can now enjoy free well drinks from 5-6pm.
Those who may not feel that a strip club is their definition of an enjoyable Sunday afternoon, think again. The atmosphere at Sinful Sunday’s is warm and inviting, accented by hot boys wearing next to nothing.
Johnny’s Fort Lauderdale
1116 W. Broward Blvd.