Restaurant Reviews

Bar Stache Brings Cocktail Culture to Fort Lauderdale

As is the case today, in the late 19th Century, one was required to carry a license to serve alcoholic beverages. As is also the case today, some enterprising individuals would just do what they pleased anyway, including operating bars without legal consent; these underground spots came to be known as speakeasies.

Though the term was coined in 1889, during the "golden age of cocktails," when Prohibition was passed in 1920, these clandestine watering holes became the only places to score a stiff drink.

When Prohibition died, so did the speakeasy -- that is, until recently. In the past decade, cocktailcentric bars have been sprouting up across the country in culinary capitals like New York, San Francisco, and even Miami. Fort Lauderdale, on the other hand, has been a little late to the mixology game, but that's quickly starting to change.

Set across the train tracks on SW Second Avenue, in the space most recently occupied by Green Room, the Himmie Health Club welcomes guests with a sign that looks as though it could have been pulled straight from any Chinatown neighborhood. After all, one wouldn't go labeling a speakeasy for the whole world to see.

Inside, the vibe at Stache 1920s Drinking Den is anything but a health spa.

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Sara Ventiera