Story and Photos by Melanie Kopacz
Boonies Wild West Saloon is like an old friend waving to drivers along a road, not so less traveled anymore. But the longtime hangout along busy Southern Blvd. in Loxahatchee Groves is seeing a vibrant rebirth. It’s bringing in a multi-generational crowd that can enjoy a variety of live music, mouthwatering American cuisine with a southern twist and an all-around down-home vibe.
“Our staff is the heart and soul of this place and takes care of everyone who walks through that door,” General Manager Jim Wallace said. “We try to focus on treating everyone like they’re family from the minute they walk in.”
Since its re-opening under new ownership in September 2021, a new vision has come to life for Boonies.
“It’s a vision of having a western live venue. The area needed it. A local place they can go to dance, listen to live music and enjoy a great family friendly experience,” Wallace said.
Larger-than-life prints of country icons like Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash welcome you in, while an array of flickering hues ranging from electric blue to green and pink along a stage backed by an American flag plays host to out-of-town bands as well as local acts.
“It’s almost electric when you walk in on a Friday or Saturday night, and you have the live bands playing, and you see people up and dancing and just having a great time,” Wallace said. “We recently had a Toby Keith Tribute band. That was really exciting.”
Just as exciting as the live entertainment is the wide-ranging menu. Part steakhouse, part southern pub, Boonies is a blend that has an array of options for anyone’s taste.
For meat lovers, there’s a number of options. From hand-cut filet mignon to Delmonico hand-cut boneless ribeye, or the Chairman’s Reserve New York Strip, which happens to be the chef’s favorite. “I cut all the steaks by hand, and we grill to order. People love them. My favorite is the New York strip, but this crowd loves the ribeye,” explained Arturo Lorenzo, the chef at Boonies Wild West Saloon.
The crowd also loves the Lollipop Lamb Chops. This delicacy is a huge seller. “They’re French style,” Lorenzo said. “We marinate them overnight with garlic, rosemary and mint, and grill them to the customer’s taste, then add a balsamic glaze.”
The redskin whipped potatoes with gravy along with steamed asparagus are two of the most popular pairings. Two sides come with each entrée, with a number of choices.
The Wild West Burger comes made to order topped with barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, sizzling applewood bacon and a trio of beer-battered onion rings on a brioche bun accompanied by light, crispy French fries.
Boonies’ Gator Bites are also a top favorite. Deep fried, locally sourced gator is made to order and served with the house special sauce. The Stacked Nachos are also a crowd-pleasing appetizer piled with homemade chili, queso, pico de gallo, jalapeños and cilantro crema.
For greens, salad options include Boonies’ House with mixed lettuce, cucumbers, cheddar jack cheese, tomatoes, red onions, croutons and a choice of dressing. Options of lightly blackened shrimp, salmon, mahi-mahi or chicken can be added.
“Our chef is phenomenal,” Wallace said. “He’s gifted and cares about every ingredient in everything that’s made. We have an incredible team in the kitchen. They have a dedication to putting out great food.”
A fully stocked bar and friendly bartending staff is ready to serve from open to close. Order your favorite or choose from signature cocktails, which can be served in a Boonies’ 20-ounce souvenir LED cowboy boot mug with colors beaming through drinks like in the Boot Scootin’, which is made with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Malibu Rum, Creme De Banana, pineapple and orange juice, with a touch of grenadine. The Southern Mule has its own spin made with Jameson Orange Whiskey, Fever Tree Ginger Beer and lime juice.
The weekly event schedule is packed. Each day and night of the week there is action. Mondays are open for various community events with a big focus on charity.
“We’re very big into giving back. We try to sponsor as much as we can,” Wallace said. “Every month, we do a different charity event where we do a quarter auction option in addition to a portion of proceeds from sales.”
Tuesdays are always for karaoke, so warm up those vocals and grab the mic. Wednesdays are Bingo Night, popular and friendly for all ages with payouts. Thursday night is Ladies Night with line dancing lessons, an in-house DJ until midnight and discounted drinks.
Fridays and Saturdays are all about live entertainment with bands from near and far taking center stage. Finally, on Sundays, it’s poker at 1, 3 and 5 p.m.
There are a number of specials each week. Monday through Friday, happy hour runs from open until 6 p.m. with two-for-one well drinks, domestic drafts and house wine, as well as 25 percent off appetizers. Early bird specials run from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., when entrées are the same portion size at a discounted price.
“We didn’t want to change the portion, but allow for those who don’t want to be out late to still get to try our most popular items, without sacrificing size,” Wallace explained.
For the really early birds, breakfast is also now being served both Saturday and Sunday mornings from 7 to 11 a.m.
A kids menu ranging from burger bites to meatball marinara with several sides make for a well-rounded selection.
For sweet treats, desserts include Killer Key Lime Pie, as well as a Turtle Cheesecake topped with chocolate ganache, creamy caramel and pecans.
Aside from the food and drinks, it’s game time with a billiards area to the left of the bar, which offers additional seating, relaxed lighting and bar games. The pool tables extend outside under the large patio area, which will include an outdoor bar come late spring. Both smoking and non-smoking outdoor areas are available. Corn hole is also on hand to play.
With so many options, Boonies strives to be an all-in-one, early morning and late-night place for everyone.
“We’re really all about the community, not just giving back, but trying to make them feel this is a place they can call their own,” Wallace said. “From regulars to those trying for the first time, we want to exceed their expectations.”
Find Boonies on Facebook and Instagram for the daily schedule and specials. Take out is available, as is delivery from DoorDash. The restaurant opens at 11:30 a.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends, and closes at 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 2 a.m. Thursday, and 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Boonies Wild West Saloon is located in the Palms West Plaza at 14555 Southern Blvd. in Loxahatchee Groves. For more information, call (561) 855-7405 or visit www.booniesfl.com.