According to James Flanigan and Trent O'Connor, the duo behind the new saloon, the first thing guests will notice is the bar's illuminated wall of whiskey stretching 17 feet tall directly behind the bartender. A collection of more than 200 bottles will be on display.
Guests will also see three garage doors leading to the courtyard shared with the recently relocated Quarterdeck, a restaurant Flanigan and O'Connor run as part of Old School Hospitality, the management group behind Beach Bar at Newport Pier and Good Spirits Fifth and Fed.
A 1,600-square-foot space decked out in red and black hues, floral drapery, and street art, Whiskey Neat is designed to complement Quarterdeck with more sophisticated drink options.
"The goal is to create a synergy between the two [bars] so that the whole space will become a neighborhood destination," says Flanigan. "The party starts at Quarterdeck, and Whiskey Neat will catch a lot of the overflow from there and other local places."
O'Connor, who will serve as the bar's head mixologist, says the vision for their new venture was whiskey-myopic from the beginning. "We love whiskey and wanted to stay true to ourselves. We're also following the rise of brown spirits — the thirst for bourbon and whiskey on their own and in cocktails."
Complimentary tapas will be offered during happy hour (5 to 7 p.m.) with each round of drinks. Options include hummus topped with yogurt and pepitas served with a tin can full of breadsticks, shrimp cocktail served in a shot glass, and a meatball served on toast with homemade marinara sauce and parmesan cheese.
Whiskey Neat will also feature live jazz music and offer guests the option to store rare labels and favorites in private bottle lockers.
Whiskey Neat. 1035 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale. Open Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. whiskeyneatbar.com.