PL8 to Open Thursday in Place of Old Mainstay Himmarshee Bar & Grille

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Himmarshee Bar & Grille, a fine-dining anchor of downtown Fort Lauderdale's entertainment district, closed its doors for good Sunday.

That's the bad news. The good news is that it'll reopen Thursday as PL8, a small-plates concept. The new restaurant will feature appetizer-sized portions priced from $6 to $10.

A temporary banner will be hung today, and a permanent sign should be in place before the reopening Thursday. Furniture is supposed to arrive today. It's a tight schedule for a restaurant redo, but owner and managing partner Dave Nicholas said the plans have 

been laid to pull it off.

Nicholas said the need to remake

Himmarshee Bar & Grille became clear a couple of years ago, when it

seemed diners were coming mostly for special occasions. That's when they

noticed many tables ordering appetizers only and sharing, rather than

going for the higher-cost entrées.

"I think people love

appetizers and love to share, so the idea was a menu full of appetizers

that they can pass around," Nicholas said.

The squash purses,

long a favorite of the Himmarshee menu, will remain. The cheese-stuffed

dates are, for now, gone, but Nicholas says that's because dates are out

of season. "They may make a return," he says.

New for the

restaurant is a wood-burning pizza oven that can reach 800 degrees.

Centered in the back of the room, it will be the focal point of the

dining room and churn out pizzas and flatbreads.

Chef Brandon Whitestone

spent weeks refining the menu. The intention was to use high-quality

ingredients without seeming too highfalutin. "It'll be our style of

food, our flavor profile, but very approachable," Nicholas said.

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB. Follow Eric Barton on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.

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