The Fort Lauderdale Bar Crawl will bring some organization to a familiar activity on Saturday, but will include a spot with something new to offer Himmarshee District convivialists.
TAPS will throw a grand-opening party for the Tampa-based chain’s fourth location on Saturday night, and while it is being neighborly in taking part in the bar crawl, the place seems to be trying to strike a balance between the boozy, plastic-cup ambitions that dominate Himmarshee and something more … classy?
“Everybody’s welcome at TAPS,” says general manager Lee Evans, diplomatically. “It doesn’t matter if you’re 21 years old in shorts and flip-flops and a tank top, you’re welcome at TAPs. If you’re in a suit and tie, you’re welcome at TAPS. We want everyone mixing in together and having a good time.”
And yet, there’s something incrementally different about TAPS.
Billing itself as a restaurant, bar and lounge, TAPS is all cool, uncluttered finesse, with its obligatory flat-screen TVs dueling for attention with prints of “tasteful, edgy art” by Picasso, Dali and Klimt.
There’s beer galore, but no Bud. Instead, you’ll find 28 draft beers (La Caracole Saxo Blonde Ale, for example) and 250 different brands in bottles (Green Flash Le Freak IPA, anyone?).
The food menu, a selection of sandwiches, salads, apps and bruschettas that Evans calls “American tapas, with an edge to it,” is made for snacking and passing. But they don’t serve fries.
“It’s what we call ‘smart food,’ which means cooked with low sodium, not cooked with excess butters and things like that,” says Evans, whose background is with luxury hotels, including the Loews chain. “Nothing is fried, so everything is inherently a little more healthy.”
The kitchen is open until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights, with happy-hour pricing ($5 entrees) beginning at 11 p.m. At 10 p.m. Saturdays, a DJ sets up in one half of the bar, while dining and talking continues on the other side of the wall.
You can check it out at the 9 p.m. opening party, which will include drink specials, free passed hors d’oeuvres, free champagne for ladyfolks, and giveaways, including a Tito Electric guitar. TAPS is at 330 SW Second St. Info: 954-459-7770, TAPSWineAndBeer.com.
The Fort Lauderdale Bar Crawl will take place 6:30-11 p.m. Saturday at 10 Himmarshee hot spots offering a free drink and specials for those with a bracelet. Cost is $20 advance, $25 at night-of check-in at Lucky’s Tavern. Other stops include Public House, Tarpon Bend, Off the Hookah, Stache, Capone's, America's Backyard, Briny Pub, Bull Market and TAPS. Info: FortLauderdaleBarCrawl.com.
You know the Sklar Brothers, a pair of dude’s dudes with a pair (two pair), who talk sports and drinks and chicks and music and movies and stuff on their “Sklarbro Country” podcast on Earworm. One of them, or both, typed this into Twitter during the Germany-United States World Cup match on Thursday: “Germany, like an attentive lover, spending a lot of time in our box. #worldcup2014” See their stand-up act Friday-Saturday at the Palm Beach Improv (550 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach). Tickets: $20. Info: 561-833-1812, PalmBeach.Improv.com.
THE OTHER TRANSFORMER
Big movie weekend for residents in Oakland Park and east Fort Lauderdale near the AMC Coral Ridge 10 Theater, not so much for what’s on the screen, but what’s on the tray in front of you. On Friday, the cineplex reopens as one of the AMC chain’s dine-in theaters, with food, wine, beer and cocktails delivered to your seat. Half of the theater’s 10 screens will offer family-friendly fare and half will be 21-and-older with a premium menu and leather recliners. All theaters will offer full bar service. Food prices range from $7 to $15 (chicken tenders and fries go for $11.99). The theater is at 3401 NE 26th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Info: 954-566-9666, DineIn.AMCTheatres.com.
DRINK UP, DUDE
Because most movies are even better with a pop or two, we give you the Summer Movie Drinking Game, which debuts Sunday at the Riverside Market (608 SW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale). The six-week series, a co-production with Magic Hat, is pretty much what you think it is: Owner-barkeep Julian Siegel will show the movie on his new retractable viewing screen beginning at 8 p.m., and you, seated precariously on the couch, will take a swig from your beer ($2 draft and bottles during the game) at the appropriate time. For instance, the series opener on Sunday is “The Big Lebowski,” so you may have to drink every time the word “Dude” is mentioned. Wait, that would be crazy. New rules will be announced before each of the films, which will include “Dazed and Confused,” “Alfred Hitchcock,” “Dirty Dancing,” “The Goonies” and “Top Gun.” Info: Facebook.com/riversidemarket.
I'LL HAVE ANOTHER
At 8 p.m. Monday, the Blind Monk gets in on the act with a screening of the Vince Vaughn-Owen Wilson comedy “The Internship,” appropriately hosted by Nick Mohnacky, founder of the entrepreneurial group Startup Palm Beach. The beer-centric gathering place is a great place to chill, but next month turns up the heat with an irreverent pairing of Godzilla and Gamera movies with Terrapin’s Hopzilla Imperial IPA and Big Hoppy Monster Imperial Red Ale on July 21. The Blind Monk is at 410 Evernia St., West Palm Beach. Info: 561-833-3605, TheBlindMonk.com.
The World of Beer in Coconut Creek will celebrate its fourth anniversary with the Craft Beer Carnival, running from noon Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday. Along with withdrawals from the bar’s 40 taps, there will be 20 beers from local breweries (including Brew Bus South Florida, Funky Buddha, Wynwood Brewing and Due South), plus live music from the Jack Licata Duo (1 p.m.), Dead Man’s Reach (3 p.m.), Audio Heist (6 p.m.) and Bento Box (9 p.m.). WOB is at 4437 Lyons Road. Info: 954-984-0300, WOBUSA.com/coconutcreek.
FAT Village Art Walk weekend begins with a warmup: the monthly free Friday barbecue hosted by the creative souls at C&I Studios (541 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Just like it sounds, this metaphorical community hug offers free burgers and dogs and a cool place to hang from 6 to 8 p.m. It wouldn’t kill you to bring a side dish to share. Info: C-IStudios.com.
WALK AND LEARN
The monthly FAT Village Art Walk, always good for a pleasant frisson of possibility over what’s growing in downtown Fort Lauderdale, this Saturday will have another new spot to check out: the FAT Village Center for the Arts, which offers educational opportunities in drawing, illustration, painting, mixed media, photography and textiles. The center (519 NW First Ave.), which will offer “soft opening” tours on Saturday, is the brainchild of Anthony Lauro, formerly of the NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, where he was director of the AutoNation Academy of Art and Design. Info: 954-716-7611, FATVillageCenterForTheArts.com. The family-friendly FAT Village Art Walk is 6 p.m.-midnight. Info: FATVillage.com.
June 27 is National Sunglasses Day, which means we’re running out of ideas. But they are celebrating at PDQ locations in West Palm Beach, Wellington, Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale, where you’ll get 50 perfect off your order when you wear a pair of your “wackiest” shades. Info: Facebook.com/EatPDQ.WEEKEND MUSIC
Bachaco released a new rock-reggae single, “Good Morning,” on iTunes this week, just the kind of upbeat jam that has won the Miami band its passionate following. Next live performance is July 19 at The Stage, opening for Lima, Peru’s Laguna Pai. Info: BachacoMusic.com, TheStageMiami.com.
V IS FOR VALERIE
The summerlong Bank of America Starlight Musicals series of free Friday-night concerts in Fort Lauderdale’s Holiday Park have gotten off to a rough start weather-wise the past couple of weeks. Here’s hoping the always-rewarding Valerie Tyson Band has better luck this weekend. Info: 954-828-5363, FortLauderdale.gov/starlight.
JACK AND WHITE
Reminder: Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for Jack White’s Sept. 21-22 performances at the Fillmore Miami Beach. General-admission tickets ($62.50) and limited number of reserved seats ($82.50) can be found at the Fillmore box office (1700 Washington Ave.), LiveNation.com or charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000.
It may surprise no one that the Oct. 17 Hard Rock Live stop for the Motley Crue Final Tour is a sell-out. But there are tickets remaining for Crue’s final-final South Florida performance on Oct. 18. Just saying. Tickets cost $69 for general admission, $89 reserved at all Ticketmaster outlets, MyHRL.com and at 800-745-3000.