The Search for The Perfect Night Out: PART V
Drew and The Woo is a regular Pineapple series that follows two young professionals as they look for the perfect night out in Delray Beach. They’ll need a happy hour, a sub-20-buck dinner, some live music and a late-night hot spot. Call it a scavenger hunt, bar crawl or even a mild bender. Either way – you’re going to want to follow in their footsteps. At the end of the year, Drew and The Woo will select their top choice for each category and invite the whole city to come out and join them for “The Best Night Out In Downtown Delray.” HAPPY HOUR Breathe’s happy hour is as much about good eats as it is about cocktails. The deal on booze is impressive, half off premium liquor, wine and beer – but it’s their signature “bar treats” (starting at $6) that keep folks chilling for hours. Drew: A little NYC style haunt right here! At long last, Delray Beach has a truly upscale lounge and bar. Couches, low tables and killer accent lighting give this place a unique and mellow vibe. Ryan: You’re exactly right. I never realized Downtown Delray was missing this kind of spot, until Breathe opened its doors. No one has successfully tackled the lounge like atmosphere found in big cities here in Delray. Drew: They’ve also done a fantastic job of offering two very different layouts, while still being cohesive. You have the fine dining area on the left and the New York vibing martini bar on the right. And both serve incredible food and stiff drinks. Ryan: Ah yes. But, both sides don’t have these two gentlemen behind the bar. Talk about classic big city bartenders. From their attire to their “bar-side-manner” – these guys are top notch. Drew: Sounds like you have a bit of a crush, dude. Ryan: Funny. Well, it is worth mentioning that the women hanging at Breathe had even more complimentary words for our two happy hour hosts. Drew: Care to share? Ryan: Nope. Drew: But this is important to report on. It might be essential to someone’s happy hour selection. Ryan: I’ll pass on quoting, I was eavesdropping. But you’re right. So although I‘ll catch slack for it, you can quote me or them… “Breathe has the best-looking male bartenders in downtown Delray.” Drew: Wow. Thanks for sharing; I probably would’ve left that out. Ryan: Someone has to look out for our female readers. Drew: And it sounds like you’re just the gal for the job! DINNER FOR UNDER $20 An Asian Fusion restaurant with South Beach style décor, Union is out to make a name for itself as the most deceptively affordable restaurant on the Avenue. Drew: Dinner under $20 is going to be tight because I want everything on this menu. Won Ton Cones, Deconstructed Ramen, Sesame Orange Filet Mignon Skewers, Red Curry Roasted Mussels. Are you sure we can eat here? Ryan: I’m having the Almond Panko Chicken, some Edamame and a Mich Ultra. All for under 20 bucks. Drew: That’s incredible. I’ll have the Union Tuna Stack, some Gekkeikan Sake and half of your Edamame. Ryan: That’s cool, I can share. As a matter of fact – that’s probably the best way to eat at Union. Order a bunch of plates – and, bonus, they come in sizes, small, medium, large – and share them with your table. Drew: Tapas style! Ryan: Yup. It’s a mainstay trend for diners and foodies, and Union’s doing it right. Drew: Speaking of trends – isn’t this one of the hippest restaurants you’ve ever been in? It’s like an indoor and outdoor nightclub and a spaceship had a baby. Ryan: I’m not sure how that metaphor is going to translate, but I get ya. Union is certainly writing its own rules. Their approach to dining in Delray is certainly revolutionary, not just evolutionary. “One of a kind” seems cliché… but it fits here. Drew: I hate to jump away from the incredible menu – but we gotta discuss these TVs. The entire back wall is one amazing high def work of art. Ryan: What are we watching on this HD masterpiece? Drew: A giant fish tank, YouTube clips, Miami Heat games, cult classic flicks, MMA and just about anything else Union’s people think will entertain their guests. Ryan: And that’s key to Union, too, by the way. The owners are constantly meeting-and-greeting. They know their guests and they know how to charm the pants off them. Drew: 🙂 Ryan: Exactly. LIVE MUSIC It’s a bar, art gallery and performance space all in one. A newer concept for Delray Beach, the Beat Cup is known for its caffeinated beverages, eclectic flavor, and insane drum line. Drew: The Beat Cup definitely wins for originality. They’ve got Nintendo GameCube projected on the wall, chairs hanging from the ceiling and a chandelier made out of a tuba. Ryan: Yeah and the crowd is a severe departure from most places we go to catch live music. Drew: Because they’re young? Ryan: No, because they’re REALLY young. Drew: Or are you just really old. I think it’s pretty interesting. One act after another introduces us to some quasi-talented kids and we get the opportunity to see what they’ve got. Ryan: What they’ve got is noise. Drew: See. There you go being an old man again. Relax a bit and give the place a shot. Grab a Monster energy drink and get down on Mario Kart. Ryan: Yeah, yeah. So are you going to talk more about the music? Drew: On this night, the Beat Cup is featuring a mixed bag of novice musicians. First, a high school level rock band. Followed by two very young, very white rappers. And then a fairly decent reggae band wraps up the night. Ryan: Shall we elaborate on any of those performances? Drew: No. Instead I want to talk about the drum line culture that grooves at Beat Cup. While the music is rocking inside, a few regulars jam out to their own beats in the courtyard. Drumming can be a pretty hip communal activity if done right. Ryan: Yeah – I must say, the outside was pretty chill. I think I even heard local hip-hop sensation, The Vulture, freestyling over some of those beats. Drew: You sure did. And that’s why this joint is important. By providing a place where young artists can get together and collaborate – the Beat Cup is nurturing the musical talents of tomorrow. Ryan: They could discover the next Justin Beaver. Drew: I think you mean Bieber. Justin Bieber. Ryan: Whatever. I’m old. LATE NIGHT SPOT Since 1975, Frog Lounge has been serving Delray Beach locals whiskey shots, ice cold beers, Jack & Cokes, and pretty much any libation you can think of. The place features a dartboard, pool table and several TV’s for watching games. Drew: Well, our age demographic just spiked. Ryan: I know and it’s great. Finally some seasoned drinkers to chat up. Oh and it looks like they have a few tables prepared for a little Texas Hold’em. Drew: You play poker? Ryan: I do now. Anything to hang with some true Delray locals. Sitting around these tables is a wealth of knowledge about our city, the people and most importantly – the bars. Drew: Yeah, but what sets this late night “dive bar” apart from the others we’ve reviewed? Ryan: Nothing really – and that’s what I love about these places. Same style décor, same drinks, same music and best of all – same people. Name a bar on Atlantic that I can walk into for the first time and be greeted by 6-7 people all wanting to know my name and why I came. Drew: So you could say that at Frog Lounge… everybody knows your name… and they’re always glad you came? Ryan: Cheers reference. Nice. But seriously, that’s exactly what this place is like. It’s like stepping into a television show. Everyone has their own story about The Frog and they’re all willing to share. Drew: Win any money? Ryan: Not even close. But, I did enjoy a few rounds of shots courtesy of the card shark sitting next me. Drew: So it was a $5 buy in and the last player standing gets a bar tab, right? Ryan: That’s correct. It just so happens, there’s a local company called No Limit Pub Poker Tour and they put on these events nightly throughout Delray Beach. Mini no-limit poker tournaments can be found at half a dozen bars downtown. You can play somewhere different every night. Drew: Any new fun activity, that doesn’t involve eating, is a welcome addition to downtown. Ryan: And I can’t think of a better place to enjoy said “new fun activity” than The Frog. Walk. Bed. Sleep. Want us to consider your favorite local hangout? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.