In Flagler Village, the last Saturday of the month usually means one thing: FAT Village art walk. And while many did turn out to sip complimentary wine while browsing local art, the energy of the night was most intense elsewhere. And it was .6 miles northeast, to be exact.
It was the hope of many South Floridians that Jump the Shark's grand reopening would fill a hole in the Fort Lauderdale scene. Though the area is starting to attract a younger, more culturally relevant crowd, there's still a need for more venues for live music and original exhibitions.
Jump the Shark pulled no punches for its inaugural bash. Sixteen local bands were booked to play from 5 p.m. to midnight, and 21 South Florida visual artists displayed their work in the hybrid gallery/concert venue/bar. The whole night felt like a turducken of creativity, stuffing everything South Florida art and music into one meaty mass. And the result, like a turducken, was pretty fucking delicious.
Jump the Shark's space feels open yet intimate. The inside is like your friend's basement, but traffic flows nicely from room to room and never gets cramped.
The outside space is wide, leaving a lot of room for the crowd to watch the stage. Some tables and seating off to the side gave those looking to get away from the hive some options. A small bar sits to the side of the stage, serving beer and wine -- anything from $3 PBRs to $6 craft beers.
Jump the Shark feels like a house party in all the best ways. You enter from the side, squeeze past the bathroom line, and head to the backyard to grab a beer. At any moment, it feels like someone's parents might unexpectedly come home early from vacation, sending everyone climbing over the graffiti-covered walls, pockets full of Bud Light.
And in fact, the cops did show up around 11 p.m., following through on a noise complaint and cutting Astari Nite's set short. Hopefully, this won't be a recurring problem for the venue -- though it might since the music could be heard across the train tracks at Laser Wolf.
But unlike a house party, the night went on after the cops left. And, though a little quieter, Jump the Shark ended a grand opening that gave Fort Lauderdale something to look forward to.