Fort Lauderdale has many options when it comes to drinking.
We have dive bars up the yin-yang, beach bars like they're going out of style, tiki bars you wouldn't believe, more sports bars than you can shake a stick at, Irish bars galore, and just about everything in between.
What we don't have, however, are any speakeasies or many craft cocktail bars. Sure, we have great mixologists who can certainly shake up a damned good drink, but they're usually found as a backdrop to craft beer-centric concepts, like Tap 42, or really high-end like Steak 954.
That will not be the case by the end of this month, Bar Stache is bringing classic and creative cocktails and a 1920's drinking den vibe to downtown Fort Lauderdale -- finally!
Starting on September 27, Stache will be kicking off its soft opening with a charity event for Glam-A-Thon.
While the restaurant won't start offering food quite yet -- including a selection of yet to be determined tapas -- it will be rolling out its new mixology program designed by mixologist John Lermayer, the man behind the cocktail programs at Miami's Blackbird Ordinary, the Regent Cocktail Club at the Gale Hotel in South Beach, and more. The program is going to encompass classic prohibition-style drinks like whiskey-based manhattans and old-fashioned as well as a number of signature offerings, many of which are still being concocted. Prices will range from around $8 to $16.
"I saw that Fort Lauderdale is lacking that sort of mixology-based bar scene," said Stevens. "This area is full of young professionals, they're not sheltered, they go to Miami to take advantage of these sorts of trends. I think this is perfect location to bring that here."
For those not looking to dole out the cash for mixed drinks, craft beer and even PBR will present less expensive options.
Based on a fictional character devised by Stevens, the bar is based around a one Charles Williams Stache Jr., a Wall Street guy who saw an opportunity to create a high-end drinking den when prohibition hit. Currently, Stevens is working on creating the brand, which he hopes to expand over time.
In the tradition of a classic speakeasy, the bar will a vintage feel with leather highback chairs, tufted sofas, exposed brick walls, and, obviously, no visible sign on the exterior. Owner Mykel Stevens wants to incorporate the old with the new by brining in art that is current.
"Say, if prohibition were to happen now, the art we're picking out would fit with a drinking den vibe you would expect to find today," said Stevens.
Every night of the week will feature a show ranging from vaudeville and cabaret to indy and jazz nights to art shows. Stevens would like to have one show start at 8 p.m., just after happy hour, every day of the week.
For the meantime, Stache is still looking for additional bartenders to fill positions. no experience is necessary, as there will be an intensive training program. For more information email your resume to BarStache@gmail.com.
We're just hoping this whole craft cocktail ethos spreads.
Bar Stache is located at 109 SW 3rd Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Visit facebook.com/pages/Bar-Stache-1920s-Drinking-Den.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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