Now, Then, and to Come
By Denny Patterson
Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar is one of South Florida’s longest running and most successful LGBTQ hot spots located in the heart of Wilton Manors. Whether you are an area native or a visitor, this is a gem that is worth checking out. A restaurant, bar, and nightclub all rolled into one, Georgie’s Alibi is here for your year-round enjoyment. As one of the busiest venues in Florida with an exceptional staff, the club consists of the Main Bar, the Sports Bar, the Monkey Bar, and the Patio. Georgie’s Alibi has always been a staple in the Wilton Manors community. OutClique magazine had the pleasure of chatting more with the venue’s owner, Johnny Pak.
Are you the original owner of Alibi?
I am actually not the original owner of the club. I am the third owner of Alibi, and by September 2019, I will have owned and operated it for five years.
Alibi is considered by many to be one of the anchor bars of Wilton Manors. Can you talk a little bit more as to why that is?
I think because Alibi was the original gay bar and restaurant that opened in Wilton Manors over 23 years ago, it has been instrumental in making Wilton Manors the popular travel destination it is today. It created an environment for anyone who appreciated being in a small town that concentrated on the locals and supported many things such as children in distress, animal shelters, parks for our pets, and the arts and entertainment district.
Can you tell me a little bit about what Alibi was like back in the beginning, compared to today?
My only history is visiting Alibi back when it opened originally and when it was the only place to go in Wilton Manors. It was a great place then, and it still is today. Of course, we had to change with the times and now there are over 20 bars and restaurants on the drive. We love change, and it makes us all want to do better.
How big of an impact has Alibi made on the Wilton Manors community?
Alibi has always been an influence and motivating factor in the gay evolution that is Wilton Manors. The area, from what I heard, was run down and not desirable, and of course, inexpensive. Now you have million-dollar properties. There is a huge difference from what was here to what is here now. It has given the community a place where they can live, grow, be themselves, teach, and thrive. This is their home.
How would you say Alibi stands out from the several other LGBTQ bars throughout Wilton Manors?
I will never compare Alibi with other places because every place is unique. As is Alibi. But, what I can say is that Alibi will always provide the warmth and generosity to help all and provide a place where people can congregate to have fun, bring their friends, and meet new people. Alibi is forever changing. The last five years alone, we have changed and continue to change to make it better and better for the community. We give back as much as we can.
What do you plan to do to ensure that Alibi continues to be the success it is today?
As long as I own Alibi, I will continue to make sure it is on top of its game. Food, drinks, bartenders, service, entertainment, events, charities, and community. Change is good, and to make sure we provide the best that we can is important.
What are some of the top reasons why one should check out Alibi?
Alibi provides free entertainment seven days and nights a week. From drag. to world-known DJs, to excellent food. That is very important to me as I am also a chef. I wear many hats.
What kind of impact has Alibi personally made on your life?
Alibi has shown me that community is important, and we give back as much as we can. I treat everyone like family. Staff, customers, that is what is important to me. Alibi has brought so much joy to my life. When I took over, it was dying, and I saved a lot of jobs. The lives of these people matter.
When it comes to owning and operating a bar, what is the biggest challenge?
Owning a bar/restaurant is like anything else. You must be on top of it. Will it be perfect? Never, but that is what makes it so interesting. You have to know what you are doing, and you must always challenge yourself to make it better. I grew up in this kind of business. I learned how to clean bathroom toilets and floors, then dishes, then I went on to food prep, and then cooking which I love. And let’s not forget cocktails! The challenge is always to keep up with what is next and to do it better.
What are some goals and accomplishments you would like Alibi to achieve within the next year?
Always do the best for the community and to be as good as we can be. As for long term goals, it is really to continue doing what we do now. Provide great drinks and great food at reasonable prices so you can dine with us day in and day out.
What kind of entertainment is Alibi known for?
Alibi is known for many facets of entertainment. Broadway musicals with Jennifer McClain, Blues with Lenora Jay, more Broadway with Dame Edna, more Blues and today’s classics with Antonio Edwards, drag shows three nights a week, Saturday brunch with drag, karaoke once a week, great DJs from around the world and locally. We have tons of entertainment all the time.
It sounds like Alibi has always been quite the success.
Yes. All I wanted to do was to bring it to the future and make it better and keep it a success. Alibi will always be a place for everyone of all ages, and all are welcome. We will strive to be the best we can be, and we hope to expand and create more fun space for the community.