With elegant mahogany wainscoting, white-cloth-covered tables, palm-tree-upholstered booths and lounge chairs, polished brass fixtures, and smooth jazz penetrating the smoke-filled air, the interior of Fort Lauderdale's iconic Jackson Steakhouse was the classic steak house of yesteryear.
From 1997 to 2009, the restaurant at 450 Las Olas Blvd. was the premier meeting place for Fort Lauderdale power players; operating as a "private club" for lunch, it was a place where executives could impress clients with $75 lobsters, $1,000 bottles of vino, and private lockers stashed with fine wine and cigars.
The concept was born out of the '90s economic boom and its accompanying desire for excess and exclusivity, and it crashed with the Great Recession's need to scale back.
For years, the legendary space sat empty, a reminder of the glory years of an exponentially growing but unsustainable South Florida economy, and the destruction that was left in its wake when it all came crashing down.