Dive Bars are relative. What may be a dive to some, may be Upper East Side to others. Nevertheless, Fort Lauderdale has their share of so-called dive bars. Some have been around for close to 80 years. It is always nice to go where everyone knows your name.
241 Ft. Lauderdale Beach Boulevard
The Elbow Room has rickety stairs, a splintery bar, and sticky floors. It is hard to imagine that the bar in Fort Lauderdale is famous because of the beach movies in the ’60s staring Annette Funnicello, because I cannot imagine her sitting at the bar sipping a hot beer and hoping her stool does not fall apart underneath her. It is strategically located on AIA across from the Atlantic Ocean. The view is endless and there is an outside area where you can sit and listen to the sounds of the waves and watch the people and cars cruise by. The Elbow Room offers live music. There is a small dance floor and band area on the second floor behind the half-circle bar. Beer, beach, and beats-what more could you want?
Red’s Bar & Package
2610 North Dixie Highway
Right in the middle of Fort Lauderdale is a bar with yummy sliders and creamsicle jello shooters. The walls and covered with Confederate flags, and the floors are covered with something sticky and unknown. The place is always packed and no one is a stranger.
2660 Griffin Road
Bartender Barbara will tell you when you walk in the door, they only serve beer and wine at Josie’s.The people are friendly, the place is packed, and my bar stool was not rickety. Located south of Fort Lauderdale, Josie’s is a true dive.
905 South Andrews Avenue
Grady’s has been in operation since 1940. The place is popular, friendly, and has the best sliders in town(go early, they run out around 9:00 pm). The drafts costs $ 1.75 and for some odd reason the bathroom was built into the middle of the bar, yes, the middle of it.
All towns have dive bars, only in Fort Lauderdale; you can actually go to your dive bar after a true ocean dive. All of the joints have private or metered parking. The hours tend to be seasonal, so check the local websites when you hit town. Most of the dive bars in the tourist town have around for while, and will be for many years to come.