Everyone who has visited Fort Lauderdale Beach has heard of The Elbo Room and Las Olas Boulevard, but few have heard of Peter Doane. He has seen many things that the average person never recovers from and has lived to tell, forty spring breaks at the beach. The self proclaimed legend of Fort Lauderdale tended bar back when bartenders were called barmaids and strip clubs actually had dancers instead of glorified prostitutes. Peter has a lot of stories to tell about those days, if he can remember. We met to have a drink at one of the places that Peter has spent many hours, his second home, The Elbo Room. After a few Heinekins, his memory returns.
What do you most love about Fort Lauderdale?
“What’s not to love? People save their whole lives to go on vacation here for a few days or a week and I get to live here. This has been my home off and on for the past forty years.”
I know that you worked in many bars, but what was the most memorable bar that you worked?
“Hands down, The Elbo Room. It’s is just Iconic. The view of the ocean is amazing. Since, it is the hot spot for Spring Breakers it is always packed with all different kinds of people. You never grow old when you are surrounded by young people. It is a constant reminder to get off the couch and get living. I jump on my bike, get some fresh air, swim in the ocean, but most of all talk to everyone.”
Back to the Elbo Room, how would you describe the experience?
“It is a landmark, but what’s most interesting about the place is that you can go in if you’re a billionaire or broke as a bum and sit side by side. You never know who you’re going to sit next to.”
What did you like the most about bartending?
“Loose women in the keg room while their boyfriends were sitting at the bar. That’s all it is, a hookup. People are just looking for a good time. It’s too transient.”
Are you saying that it is hard to have a serious relationship in South Florida?
“Yes and no. Don’t get me wrong, I was married. I’m proud that I never cheated on my wife, but before we got married I had fun. The girls are just too plentiful. And they’re always coming in from all over the world. The choices are endless, so a lot of guys don’t feel the need to settle down.
What do you think are the qualities that make up a good bartender?
“Personality is the key. I was a lunatic. I could relate to anyone. It’s not about mixology and these fancy drinks that they have out nowadays.”
What is your favorite local bar?
“The Treasure Trove. My buddy owns it and that’s where the locals go."
Thank you for answering my questions. Do you have anything else before we end?
“I love this place! How could I ever leave this town? You’ve got to be crazy!”