Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Fort Lauderdale: Wilton Manors – the gayborhood, Florida

My first trip to the gayborhood in Fort Lauderdale really made me feel as though I was in the USA. George’s Alibi was buzzing with the sounds of country a room of cabaret, men in stetzens and huge beefy bears serving casks of beer.

There’s quite a difference to British gay villages; America seems to like to butch it up a bit. A bar in most cities I’ve been to would be amiss without a grumpy drunk propping up a bar, a camp cheerleader behind the bar, a music selection full of rock and country and some form of macho sport presentation or a pool table. Good luck finding all that in the UK.

George’s Alibi is a popular meeting haunt all week and where Wilton Manors all began when a gay resident bought the complex and began rejuvenating it – this whole area in fact was once run down. Adopted by gays and becomes a sought-after area.

It’s worth stopping by Rosie’s Bar & Grill, Gelati Martini Lounge, New Moon Bar, and the Manor Complex.

Bill’s Sport Bar is a must-stop – I was totally in awe of such a concept – a gay sports bar. It’s full of men in shorts and vests; fit guys behind the bar mixing cocktails; it’s draped in paraphernalia of American Football, Baseball, and Basketball. There was an excellent atmosphere here; very lively and a great hangout.

The Manor is the after-part. Head to this multi-club post-midnight (at least) and get on the dance floor. The weekend is a Friday – Sunday affair, with the odd Thursday thrown in; several rooms to relax, get on the dance floor, play or drink to local and international DJs. It’s a rather fancy place – and worth it’s weight in Wilton Manors: 2345 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors.