Say goodbye to everything you know about a night out. What was once bar stools and HD TV screens are now sky-high views and hidden doorways. Today, it’s all about the “drinking experience.” Let’s just say, when it comes to nightlife, local businesses in Greater Fort Lauderdale go above and beyond.
The Sky’s the Limit
This bar’s name speaks for itself. Rooftop @WLO is a rooftop bar with a lounge-and-light-bites concept situated on the seventh floor of the One West Las Olas building in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Overlooking the New River, you’ll feel all kinds of fancy on the open-air patio that’s basically a garden in the sky. Boxwood leaves scatter the walls that sit behind plush furniture and VIP ropes. Be sure to make a reservation to get exclusive seating, including high tops that have fire pits for a centerpiece.
The Dalmar hotel in Fort Lauderdale is a treat and it suitably comes with a cherry on top. Sparrow was named one of the best rooftop bars in the U.S. The bar gives you a view from downtown all the way out to the ocean. Check in with the host or hostess in the lobby, and take the elevator up to the top where you can mix and mingle in a vibrant, luxurious environment with a funk 60s flair. Sit inside or go outside to the terrace.
Rooftop bars certainly have drinks that are heavenly. The Violet cocktail is a sparkly glass of heaven you’ll want to keep ordering again and again. If you come with your own rooftop posse, order the Mixtape Punch, a house rum blend in a punch bowl. Great for groups, this drink takes the spiked punch at your high school prom to a whole other level.
Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach is another hotel with a rooftop bar up its sleeve. High Tide’s setting is beautiful -- there are bright colors and greenery everywhere. Your mood can’t help but be lifted as soon as you set foot on the large patio overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean.
Order any of the Floridian-inspired small bites and cocktails. The “Island Guacamole” is a big crowd-pleaser, while “Peach, Don’t Kill My Vibe” wins the drink lottery. High Tide also has locally crafted beer on tap. Between the can’t-go-wrong menu and the gorgeous views, High Tide is a rooftop bar with character.
The Secret's Out
Ever pretend you’re a spy on a top-secret mission? Think about hidden passageways behind bookcases that lead to a whole other world? That’s what getting a drink at Unit B feels like. The Brass Tap in Flagler Village look like your run of the mill neighborhood bar. But if you’re savvy enough to figure it out, you can get a secret code (which changes nightly on their website) that grants you access to the hidden bar above. Once you climb the staircase to the top, you’ll enter an exclusive, quaint speakeasy that’ll leave you feeling like you’re James Bond. It’s really the perfect setting for a date night -- acting as a great ice breaker with a dimly lit, romantic atmosphere you’ll never forget.
Hyatt Centric Las Olas recently debuted 901, a guest-room turned private speakeasy that's nothing like your average hotel bar. Named 901 for the room it occupies, this speakeasy features the swanky ambiance of the roaring 1920's Jazz Age. You'll enjoy a private experience for up to eight guests with two-hour seatings booked by reservation only.
Hidden within Pizza Craft on Himmarshee Street, Apothecary 330 gives off a classic speakeasy feeling. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you went back in time to the roaring 20s with flappers passing by and drinks overflowing.
The room has a dark ambiance combined with a tower of countless bottles that reaches the ceiling. The wallpaper feels authentic to the time period, while the cozy red leather couches make you feel right at home. Be sure to attend during happy hour, which features five dollar glasses of wine and two dollars off craft beer.
Mama Hank's Speakeasy + Kitchen
Behind a 400-pound vault door at Fort Liquordale in Flagler Village lies Mama Hank's where the food and cocktail menu is hush hush. Word is out, though, that menu highlights include steaks and creative whiskey cocktails.
Cheers to Unique Dining Experiences
Any of the bars mentioned above are next level. Visiting one of them will probably lead to you asking yourself, “Is this real life?” Whether you’re 10 stories off the ground or tucked inside a secret hideaway, your night out in Greater Fort Lauderdale will be an epic adventure.