Marc Falsetto Continues His Himmarshee Takeover With Tacocraft | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Restaurant Reviews

Marc Falsetto Continues His Himmarshee Takeover With Tacocraft

Marc Falsetto is a busy man these days. In January, his newest restaurant, Tacocraft Taqueria & Tequila Bar, opened its doors on the east end of Himmarshee Street. If all goes as planned, the restaurateur and cofounder of JEY Hospitality Group says he'll be reigning over Fort Lauderdale's historic downtown district soon enough.

Sure, it's a bold statement to make, but with the bravado of a man with several successful concepts under his belt, and a wall full of foodie awards to match, Falsetto is confident he can make it happen.

"My restaurants don't fail," says Falsetto. "I take cursed spaces, and I make them work. It's sort of become my thing. And that's how I'm rebranding Himmarshee."

See also: Tacocraft Taqueria & Tequila Bar in Fort Lauderdale (Photos)

On a recent weeknight the line is out the door at Falsetto's Rok:Brgr, there are more than 100 reservations on OpenTable for Public House, and the 1-month-old Tacocraft has a two-hour wait. That same weekend each establishment is open for brunch, and they're all packed to the brim.

It's a regular scene for the self-made restaurateur and onetime club promoter who, for the past five years, has been a man on a mission. Alongside partner Chuck Hazlett, a longtime financial consultant specializing in restaurant and hospitality acquisitions and expansion strategies, the duo has been working to create concepts intended to make the city's oldest section of the commercial downtown -- hemmed on the south end by the New River and bound on the north by Broward Boulevard -- a dining destination.

It began in late 2010 with Rok:Brgr, which opened to instant success in what Falsetto claims was the highest-grossing restaurant per square foot in South Florida at the time. It seemed a ludicrous idea then, a gourmet gastropub serving $15 burgers and $10 beers in the middle of a recession.

"I had this crazy idea that I was going to open up a high-end burger bar serving microbrews," says Falsetto. "Everyone told me it was a bad idea. Chuck was the only one that believed in me, and he partnered with me to bring it to Fort Lauderdale. Today, there isn't a restaurant in the city that hasn't copied at least one of my menu items or used one of my promotions."

That same year they founded JEY Hospitality Group -- short for "Just Enjoy Yourself" -- a multilevel restaurant and promotion company with one goal: to rebuild Himmarshee Village. In five years, JEY has grown quickly from just one Rok:Brgr location to now six restaurants spanning two counties and more than 300 employees.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna

Latest Stories