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Photograph: The Ben
Photograph: The Ben

The 10 bars to hit tonight in West Palm Beach

Sip your way through West Palm Beach with our guide to the finest places to drink

Written by Eric Barton in association with TD Bank

The nightlife scene in West Palm Beach isn’t defined by big-city dance clubs or strobe-lit music venues. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less happening, with the action instead found on rooftops, in chill wine bars, speakeasies and dives that feel as storied as a top shelf scotch.

While it may be named after a 17th century Benedictine monk who served as a cellarmaster in Champagne, don’t expect anything so pretentious at The Blind Monk. This is simply a neighborhood hangout, a wine bar that’ll remind you that West Palm Beach is a big small town, where you’ll likely see everyone you know. Somehow both swanky and relaxed, The Blind Monk rocks at the quite affordable happy hour, excuse us, “sommelier selections” time. Stay afterward for live music or silent black and white films. And while the menu may be limited to small plates, we’d dare you to find a better charcuterie plate in town. Even if this isn’t your neighborhood, The Blind Monk will make it feel like it is.

Frenchman Vincent Toscano created a speakeasy that feels like he brought it from 1920s Paris. Up a flight of stairs downtown, 215 is tight and intimate, with a tufted banquette running against the wall and dark wood everywhere. Toscano's creations are full of things you've never heard before, tasty yes, but also served with charming handwritten origami notes clipped to the sides.

It’s hard to say when it’s not a good time to go to O’Shea’s. You’ll find crowds gathered at the old-country-looking pub early mornings to watch soccer. You’ll certainly discover a crowd at happy hour, and then again early evening for pre-shenanigans drinking. But it really gets going late when bands take the stage. Oh, and then there are hurricanes, because O’Shea’s refuses to close through any storm. Grab a pint now, you say? That sounds like a fine idea.

Steam Horse sits in a neighborhood that was not long ago just a warehouse district full of cabinet makers and muffler repair shops but now includes a food hall and this massive, 6,000-square foot brewery. The owners perfected the beer trade at Tequesta Brewing Company and Twisted Trunk Brewing before opening here in 2016. The tap room is all concrete and exposed steel, glass looking into the operations side, and a railroad theme drawn from the tracks nearby. What are you drinking? Start with the Grapefruit Semi, a hazy IPA, and then move on to the Cafe Con Finn, a red ale flavored with dark-roast coffee.

Roxy’s was already the hottest spot in town when the Irish Pub popped its top and added Clematis Street’s first rooftop bar. As it has been for a generation or more, it’s a spot where you’ll see shot-taking college kids, wine-sipping movers and shakers, face painted football watchers and scantily dressed scenesters dancing under stars.

Lost Weekend is well named, a place where you could spend many weekends in foosball battles, or going for a high score on the old-school arcade games, or playing for next game at the pool tables or, because you've got good taste, just posting up until last call at skeeball. Then pick a playlist from the jukebox and chill on the couches as you wait for street-food-style tacos with a side of elote. Wait, is it Sunday already?

While much of Clematis Street is defined by fine dining and chill lounges, Respectable Street holds down a decidedly different vibe, a simply decorated music hall. Under owner Rodney Mayo, the place has been rocking since ‘87, and if you’re into live music, you’ll find a lineup of the local headliners playing on the same weekend as the you-heard-them-first-here bands that’ll be big tomorrow.

It used to be that all the trendy hotels were over the bridge in Palm Beach, but then Marriott opened an Autograph Collection property called The Ben smack in the center of downtown. On the seventh floor you'll find Spruzzo, a swanky open-air Italian restaurant with a bar that seems always busy on weekends. The crowd is a mix of tourists and young professionals sipping a spritz and taking in waterfront views nearby.

While we’re talking hotel rooftop bars, let’s head over to Rosemary Square where Hilton opened in 2020 its first-to-Florida Canopy concept, a chic property with the Treehouse bar on the roof.  Inside, it’s a big-city-feel cocktail bar with lounge seating areas, and outside the bar spreads out by the pool with slick views of the city. The space turns into a pool party on weekend days and holidays, like the Labor Day Luau that filled the rooftop with leis and tan lines.

An export from Arizona, Copper Blues holds down 60 taps from its second-floor location in the Rosemary Square entertainment complex. It's not just beer here though, with a full cocktail and food menu headlined by a burger that you probably shouldn't leave without ordering.

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