A restaurant its creators say has been ten years in the making will open early next year in a new retail and entertainment complex located on the corner of Fifth Street and Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale.
This week, Old School Hospitality — best known for its five Quarterdeck restaurants — revealed a first look at its latest concept, Good Spirits, located just north of the city's historic Las Olas Boulevard and east of Flagler Village in the Fresh Market-anchored shopping center at 500 N. Federal Hwy. It's one of three restaurants the group plans to open in 2017, including the all-new concept Side Bar and a sixth Quarterdeck.
Old School Hospitality was founded in 1966 with the opening of Big Daddy’s Bar & Liquor Store in Fort Lauderdale, an establishment that was purchased by Paul Flanigan in 1985. The company, which recently celebrated its 30-year milestone, has since grown to include several concepts, including Lobby Bar in Hollywood and the Beach Bar at Newport Pier in Sunny Isles Beach.
Good Spirits — originally slated to open in November 2015 — will be the group's first new concept in the past several years.
"My partners and I have been working on this project for the last decade," says Old School Hospitality partner Frank Zaffere, who believes the Victoria Park neighborhood is primed for a renaissance of sorts. "We’ve seen this [area] come to life over the last few years and hope to continue that growth with Good Spirits."
Thanks to Good Spirits' central location, Zaffere says, the goal is to merge Flagler Village, Las Olas Boulevard, and Victoria Park into one pedestrian-friendly destination while also ushering in a "culinary renaissance" to east Fort Lauderdale.
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The group has appointed Chang Jin, who joined Quarterdeck in 2011 as a corporate executive chef, to lead the kitchen at Good Spirits. Although menu details have not yet been released, Jin will deliver his take on traditional American fare served alongside upscale sushi. The menu will be complemented by a wine cellar with more than 300 bottles sourced from around the world, as well as a mix of both modern and classic cocktails and craft beer.
Good Spirits' decor is described as midcentury modern. The large space with an open layout will feature a large fireplace flanked by an extensive sushi bar and elevated wine cellar on one side and a modern take on a 1960s vintage lounge on the other.
Good Spirits. 500 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale; oldschoolhospitality.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram