Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 7:53 a.m.
For a while now, the Himmarshee nightlife district in downtown Fort Lauderdale has been on the other side of its peak. With the loss of some of the busier spots like the Brick, and Las Olas having stolen some its thunder, the Himmarshee area has been in need of some assistance.
Well, looky who came to the rescue. Recently, the Sub Culture Group, run by Palm Beach nightlife king Rodney Mayo and his fellow restaurateurs -- known for popular places like Dada and Tryst in Delray, and Kapow! Noodle Bar and the Dubliner in Boca -- are bringing one of their concepts to Himmarshee. The Dubliner
Fort Lauderdale is taking over the former site of PL8. And it's slated to be open for St. Patty's day.
While the lease was just signed within the past couple of weeks, Sub Culture is forging ahead to have the new spot opened a week before St. Patty's day. We spoke to Sub Culture's Vice President, Scott Frielich about the plans. "We're planning on doing a big Irish buffet for the holiday," he says, "We've been doing this so many years in Boca. It's really just about getting the place ready."
Luckily, the new space requires no major remodeling, just redecorating. According to Frielich, "Everything will look completely different."
The group is planning on turning the space that once housed Side Bar into a whiskey bar and entertainment area. Frielich says they would like to hold nightly events in that side of the restaurant: Monday night trivia, karaoke, live bands. The bar will be filled with more than 100 different whiskeys, including a large selection of Irish whiskeys.
The second floor of the space is going to be the Irish Library, with hundreds, if not thousands, of books from famous Irish authors and playwrights. The area is going to have more of a lounge feel with a larger selection of high-end Irish whiskeys and a small Irish whiskey craft cocktail menu. Patrons will be able to sit around and play board games. According to Frielich, "Upstairs is going to be more intimate and dark. Definitely a quieter vibe than most of downtown."
While the overall concept will place a large emphasis on whiskeys and entertainment, the spot is going to really focus on the food. Like the Dubliner in Boca, all of the Irish-inspired fare will be made in-house from scratch. "We're very food-centric," he says, "They say Dublin has surpassed Paris as the foodie capital: the city has more Michelin stars awarded now. We want to reflect that here. The food has really been at the forefront of the concept."
The main portion of the restaurant will have more a restaurant feel. With comfortable seating, the plan is to make it more of a place to sit and have a conversation with a pint of beer. The goal is to offer an alternative to the rowdy bar scene downtown. According to Frielich, "We're definitely going for a calmer, more relaxed atmosphere. We hear from so many people that say they used to love going downtown, but have stopped. We want to do our part to bring people back to the downtown area. We really feel like the area has so much to offer."