Last Sunday, Mr. R took me to breakfast at one of my most favorite places on the planet.
Howley’s is a West Palm Beach institution, an establishment that describes itself as “Hip diner slinging comfort chow amid ’50s decor with a pressed-tin ceiling, full bar & jukebox.” It has had the same motto, “Cooked in sight, must be right,” since the place opened in 1950. After years of neglect, it was taken over by Subculture, who lovingly restored it into the joint it is today, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 7am to 2am, except Friday and Saturday when it’s open until 5am. I may or may not have rolled in drunk in the wee hours of the morning and ordered a grilled cheese and fries to soak up a little alcohol before heading home.
Howley’s is so much more than just a diner. The place has an open, funky, creative vibe. Art on display on most available surfaces is for sale. I have to confess, I had my eye on a pair of photos on canvas–black and whites of a Creature of the Black Lagoon action figure with a surfboard on the beach and on a pier looking out over the water.
There’s even a fantastic outdoor mural by local artist Amanda Valdes on the south wall.
The staff is young, tattooed and pierced, and gender fluid. Oh, and by the way, the food is great!
Sunday, shortly after we were seated in a retro-style booth, our server, a thin, much tattooed, delightfully gay man came to take our order. When I started with a mimosa, he drew a heart on his chest and declared that he and I are soul sisters. As he left to get our drinks, I couldn’t resist. “I LOVE this place,” I told Mr. R.
We enjoyed our breakfast to a soundtrack of music in keeping with the vibe of the place. When Still Feel It by Portugal. The Man came on, our server friend (my soul sister), who was helping a nearby table, broke into a fabulous shimmy. I LOVE THIS PLACE!
I love it so much, in fact, that when I set my award-winning book, FOR SPARROW, in West Palm Beach, I featured Howley’s. Yes, the book title is a link, just in case you’re looking for a great read. 😉
I hope you like this song. Fun Fact: It’s the song in the latest Coppertone ad. It just feels like summer to me. And funky diners. And happiness.
Enjoy this balmy summer evening. Be sure to hug those you love.
Happy Saturday night!