Firewater

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Walking into Firewater late Saturday night, I stumbled on what many would call a strange scene. Half the bar was singing along to “Hold On Loosely” by .38 special. There was a lot of air guitar going on. Maybe too much. But this is what happens here. This is where the unruly reign as mortal gods with fearless passion.

Empty pitchers hung over the bar like ornaments with bottles of booze outlining it. I approached the divetender, Select, and ordered a $9 pitcher of Bud Heavy. Not too long after, Select was telling me tales of sexual debauchery occurring here. I won’t go into all the explicit details, but I will say there was mention of a suckjay train going on out back.

 After a few beers, I stumbled toward the bathroom with draining in mind until I was shoved aside. Glancing over, a staggering bearded drunk and an older woman hopped into the bathroom and the deadlock slid shut. Only two things were happening in there. And by the looks of it, possibly both.

In my opinion, Firewater is the divest bar around. The only thing more filthy than the bar is the drunkards that frequent there. Which is why I love it. A great place to go for the Monday through Friday Happy Hour from 3-8pm. The drafts are only a $1.25 and well drinks are $3.

The bar has two dartboards, ring toss and two pool tables with the well known “Firewater curve.”

 Beer Prices

Domestic Draft- $1.75

Draft pitchers- $9

18oz draft- $3

Domestic bottle- $3

7oz Bud Light- $1.75

Well drinks- $3.50

The bathrooms here are grotesque and usually filled with vomit. And I can’t lie, I have contributed to the mess in there on several occasions.

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I recommend getting bottles unless you enjoy dirty mugs like myself. I’ll take five…

5 out of 5 dirty mugs.

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The Cabin Sports Bar

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The Cabin is a hideaway bar just north of Hillsboro Blvd. on Federal Hwy. Its been open for a decade and three years at its current location. With New England sports and Nascar signage littered throughout, this bar offers a reasonable rate for beer and has specials everyday of the week.

Specials

  • Monday- “Bud Night” $2.25 bottles, free pool

  • Tuesday- $3 Jager shots

  • Wednesday- “Miller Night” $2.25 bottles

  • Thursday- “Shot Night” $3.50 shots, $3.50 call (any well liquor, beer) $5 top shelf booze

  • Friday- $4 Jack Daniel’s shot

  • Saturday- “Ladies Night” 8-10pm

  • Sunday- “Fireball”/ Nascar $10 buckets of Coors Lite, Budweiser and Miller Light, $3 fireball shots

There was a lot more people than I’m accustomed to seeing there, but it was Friday at midnight. While I sat at the at the bar enjoying the cheap cool taste of a Pabst Blue Ribbon, I noticed the pool table seemed to be reserved for the next twelve games. So I reverted my attention back to the Warriors/ Nuggets game and realized that this is an ideal place to watch any type of sporting event. Thus, the name, Cabin Sports Bar.

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The draft beer is relatively cheap just like any mainstream sports bar. And you have the added benefit of smoking, pool and typical dive banter. Its more like a hybrid between a dive and a sports lounge. There are plenty of flat screens and a full 360 bar, plus a Golden Tee arcade game. Every other Saturday there is a live band to break the monotony of recurring Touch Tunes songs.

Here’s the toilet situation just like every other post. Impeccably clean.

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001-Lady Toilet

When I asked Chris, the bartender, for the best time to come here, he quickly responded “All the time.”

4 out of 5 dirty mugs…

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Smuggler’s Bay

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Smuggler’s Bay is a seedy joint located on the southeast corner of Hillsboro Blvd. and Military Trail directly behind the Chevron in Deerfield Beach.  It also is one of the better dive names in my opinion.

It’s a large space unlike most dives which are usually small and cramped, giving ample room for the suited bald gentleman to dance and play air piano.  There weren’t too many people at the full 360 bar when I went over there on Saturday night around 11p.m.  Maybe maintaining five to six depressed individuals with fist under chin.

The blonde fifty-something year old bar maid (describes 95% of divetenders) was congenial enough while she took control of the music selection.

Smuggler’s Bay which has been open for nearly 28 years was recently purchased by new owner, Bill, in December.  I’ve only been here once before and that was under the new ownership.  It didn’t seem like there was much restructuring.

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The bar consists of: three evenly spaced pool tables and dartboards, one electronic dartboard and seven television sets. Wednesday is free pool.  The bar closes at 2a.m. except on Saturday (3am).  Not particularly ideal for watching a game. Quite perfect for drinking though…

With a Happy Hour that runs Monday through Friday (4-8pm), Smuggler’s Bay is one of the cheaper dive bars I’ve been to.

Draft

  • Bud Heavy/Light, Miller Light, Yuengling- $2.25/$2(Hpy Hr.)
  • $9 pitchers anytime

Sunday Bucket Special

  • Domestic- $12
  • Michelob- $13
  • Import- $15

No craft on draft here people!

Now the most surprising aspect over here was the food because the kitchen seems like its never used.  Completely unaware that it even offered food, I was initially confused and when I realized that there was no service after six in the p.m., I became enraged.  (Drinking on an empty stomach is only a good idea when you’re broke and want to get drunk on a few beers.)  Other than the kitchen being visible throughout the bar, there are no indicative signs suggesting that food is served here.  But for most dives, you’ll usually have to figure out most stuff for yourself.  Obviously some intense reporting going on over here…

Food

  • ½ lb. burger/cheese- $2.50/$3
  • Hotdogs- $1
  • (With purchase of two alcoholic beverages)

The toilet situation is nothing new.  Generally clean by dive standards.

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003-Lady toilet

While I feel most dive regulars drink beer, Sherie the barkeep informs me that “liquor is the deal here and Friday night is the best time to come here.”

4½ out of 5 dirty mugs.  Enjoy…

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A Young Lad and a Dive Bar

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The Whistle Stop is one of my favorite dive bars in Boca Raton.  Right off of Camino Blvd. in the old Winn-Dixie shopping center, it can be easily unnoticed like many of its kind.

This was the first bar I ever truly drank at.  At the tender age of seventeen, I used to purchase booze for my friends with my older brother’s I.D.  Don’t tell anyone…

On one fateful historic night, I discovered my peculiar love for dive bars.  I remember as if it was just a fortnight ago.  It was a wondrous night.  That is until I got alcohol poisoning and made a fool out of myself in front of the parents.  But that is a completely, somewhat unrelated story.

I was driving two of my friends, the gorgeous heavy-chested Suarez and the self-appointed American Hero himself, Glen Armstrong.   A sort of hybrid involving Neil Armstrong and John Glenn.  The plan was to acquire a bottle of vodka and meet up with a few others at the intracoastal bridge on Camino Blvd.

As a young Armstrong waited in the 2000 silver Mustang, Suarez and I reservedly entered the smoke-filled bar. It was like someone forgot to turn off the fog machine.

“Vodka please!  The largest in stock, money is of no object here,” I exclaimed, trying to hold back the cracks and squeaks on account of the intense puberty.

We were waved to the back corner behind the bar where the liquor was stored.  Swiftly connected eyes, we were both conscious that our rouse may soon be revealed.  It seemed we were being lured into a back room where I would be severely bashed in by the wooden club that undoubtedly lay behind the bar.  I was sure that it was used in such similar circumstances.  And only Satan knows what would happen to my young counterpart after my spouting blood soaked into the maroon carpet.  The color did not seem to be a coincidence.

Luckily, none of that actually occurred.  The bottle and cash exchanged hands without inquiries and beatings.  The grim-looking characters lurking in the shadowy corners turned out to be enthusiastic and entertaining fellows.  I felt compelled to stay and have at least one drink, unaware that Armstrong’s patience would soon expire.

I ordered a White Russian and Suarez got a Long Island.  I was in a White Russian phase after discovering the hilarity of The Big Lebowski.  I don’t know what the hell Suarez was thinking.  Maybe because she was about fifteen or sixteen at the time.  It was obvious that we had yet to acquire the taste of beer.

The old lady barkeep asked if we were dating in her timeworn scratchy voice.  And right before I could confirm her mistaken suspicions, Suarez blurted out, “Hell no! I’m his older sister,” as she grabbed and rubbed my buzz-cut head.  “He’s my baby brother,” she said excitedly.  She knew if she wasn’t quick with a response, I would say ‘yes’ and try to embarrassingly kiss her and deal with the repercussions afterwards.

A short time later, an angry Armstrong poked his dumb face in through the door.  A fury raged within his eyes as he witnessed the two of us laughing it up with the regulars.  It seemed our stay was about to conclude prematurely.  Clutching the bottle, I paid the tab and we exited the dark, yet cheerful bar with soaring expectancies of an amusingly adventurous night.

I knew right then and there, these would be the type of bars that I’ll go to when I was old enough.  A place where I can sit down at the bar and watch the game without interference from jerkfaces.  Not overwhelming and not as loud as a shitty club.  Where the music doesn’t suck and fashionable mainstream products don’t affect the people.  No thank you.  I like a place where the mugs are dirty and the toilets are overflowed with turds.

I should also note that the Whistle Stop has been under new ownership since this experience occurred nearly a decade ago…

The Duck Tavern

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The Duck Tavern in Boca Raton is located off of Jeffery St. and Federal in Boca Raton.  It’s an excellent place for an alcoholic beverage.  On a cold sunny day, the glass doors will swing open into a wide entrance, allowing a cool breeze to filter out the sweet scent of burning tobacco.

The Duck utilizes a few promotional tools including an “Around the World” drinking game where the patron will guzzle down every beer the bar offers.  An arduous task, but quite rewarding.  Your name will be placed on a small plaque at the back wall with the other “Around the World” gulping heroes.  And the obvious benefit of enjoying different types of brew.

The Duck also has its own T-shirts to where during Happy Hour.  The bar offers 50% off to those wearing their shirts on Mondays.

Inquire about snagging your Duck Tavern shirt with Shane or Lilly.

Friday night always has a live band.

The men’s bathroom is nothing out of the ordinary, a couple of urinals and one stall.  The same with countless other dive bars, the stall is normally used for non-toiletry needs.