Night Watch: Bash of Boca
5970 SW 18th St., Boca Raton.
Call 561-447-7171, or visit here.
"What's a 'Brazilian'?" a woman to my left asked.
"It's when they do all of it," her brunet friend replied.
She recoiled. "Ooh, I had that once -- never again. From now on, I just keep things neat down there."
I was seated in the "sports bar" area of Bash: a large, high-ceilinged room at the front of the establishment that is composed of dining tables, a big ol' blocky bar, and flashing flat screens in every direction. I was studying a drink menu.
Like Gatsby's before it, Bash is an incredibly spacious establishment. The entire place has few partitions, and the room just seems to extend into oblivion: Beyond another bar -- you pass three on the way to the dance floor and its flashing, circular lights -- past gentlemen in dress shirts with rolled-up sleeves shooting at blue-felt pool tables, into a swanky VIP room with white couches and a separate sound system, and past that, ending up in a chillaxed hookah lounge. You can see why, after pushing through the doors of Bash and dodging the cover, I decided we needed a guide.
Enter Brad: slender, closely cropped hair, clad in a comfortable T-shirt. His business card was nebulous about his actual job description, probably because he's everything at this club.
"We have the biggest college night," he exclaimed. "We'll pack 400 to 600 people through these doors tonight." Thursdays are ladies' night; Fridays are Latin night -- "that gets crazy," Brad adds -- and Saturdays host live rock bands like Franscene, Upshot, Split Image. At that moment, though, it was busy but still comfortable. Lanky guys in long T-shirts and slightly off-center ball caps shot pool and kept close watch on the miniskirted young ladies who flitted around the dance floor and hovered near the bars. "See, the teenyboppers are already here," Brad mumbled. "The crowd is 18-plus for girls but 21-plus for boys. We used to let 18-year-old boys in, but we had fights and trouble, and one of my bouncers got punched in the face. So that was the end of that."
"What do you guys have to drink?" I asked, my mind always on the next important thing. "We have two signature drinks," Brad said. "The Hip Slip and Splash of Bash." He led us up to the bar facing the dance floor, which was tended by a cleavage-up-to-her-chin blond bombshell named Lindsay. "The Splash is blue, and the Hip Slip is pink-red," she said. "They're like his-and-hers drinks!"
Brad dragged us through the VIP room with its shiny white couches and sprawling party space -- "We get this room booked for 50th anniversaries, birthdays, bat and bar mitzvahs" -- and into the adjoining hookah lounge, which had white sheets billowing from the ceilings and more than 25 flavors of tobacco.
Back at the sports bar, in the midst of throbbing early-'90s music, I ordered the blue signature drink -- Splash of Bash, which is more blue than you can imagine. "Tastes like spring break," said my male companion. More college men, their shoulders slightly hunched from their long days playing videogames, entered and surveyed the scene. Despite the blasting Haddaway, a few seats down from me, an older man with glasses had fallen asleep. "How we doing, Ray?" the bartender asked sweetly. He snorted slightly. I continued to sip my delicious electric drink.
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