Boca After Dark: Honey

honey_delray.jpg

Address: 16 E. Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach // 561/270-7187

The Lowdown: This sweet spot is buzzing with the hottest crowd in Delray Beach.

Honey blends elements of rustic charm with the refined elegance for which The Ave is known. Guests congregate along a large bar in the front room. Walls are lined with Renoir-style paintings. Oak bar-tops and warm marsala-hued couches recall a rich cabin setting. And a dim glow provides the requisite nightclub ambience.

During happy hour, business professionals come to loosen their ties and unwind from the 9-to-5 grind. Music is of the lighter fare early on, with classic tunes from the 1980s and less high-energy house music. The crowd gets a bit younger as the night wears on and so does the DJ set. By 10 p.m., the room is filled with hipsters ready to see and be seen. Retro indie dance music blares through the speakers. People dance through each other as they approach the bar in the main room.

Past the DJ booth is the covered outdoor patio area. Here, you’ll find a more quiet and relaxed atmosphere. To one side, bottles of fine spirits and mixers cover the roped-off VIP section. The other area houses a small bar and several couches. It’s the perfect spot for people trying to have a conversation away from the crowd.

The intangibles: You won’t find your typical drinks on the menu here. A whiskey and coke becomes a Lipstick on a Pig. Bartenders start off with their house-made cola and top it off with celery bitters and chocolate covered bacon. Yes you read that correctly. The G&T is not your average gin and tonic. The gin is handcrafted at Honey with Tito’s Vodka and infused juniper. The result is a stiff slightly spicy drink that leaves a crisp, dryness on your tongue.

Every Wednesday through Sunday, happy hour specials feature half off of everything. The lounge also offers farm-to-table small bites from the neighboring 32 East. Gulf-shrimp okra tacos and soy-mirin blackened sea scallops with yellowfin tuna are just a few of the most popular selections.

Cover is free for everyone on lower key nights, but there’s a $10 cover on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as during special events.

Hours: Wed. through Sat. from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Website: honeydelray.com