Could Pompano Beach be South Florida's next seaside vacation destination? With the addition of two new custom-built oceanfront restaurants, the Pompano Beach House and Oceanic Dining, open their doors next year, it very well might be.
With the opening of eateries such as the Rusty Hook Tavern, located off the Intracoastal Waterway just north of Atlantic Boulevard, and steps from the city's quaint oceanfront commercial district, lots of change has been anticipated for the area, including plans from the Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to bring new businesses to the easternmost stretch off Atlantic Boulevard.
And, as it turns out, plans are indeed underway to transform the city's oceanfront stretch near the pier, a development project known as the Pompano Beach Fishing Village.
Since 2009, over $10 million has been invested to revitalize and modernize Pompano Beach Boulevard between Atlantic Boulevard and Northeast Fifth Street, with projects such as replacing and widening sidewalks, adding new pedestrian light fixtures, new on-street parking spaces, upgrading an existing playground and installing exercise equipment, and creating inviting gathering areas for private and public events.
Then, in 2011, the city selected an economic management agency — the Pompano Beach-based Redevelopment Management Associates — to assist the CRA in developing the 4.2-acre site, what will become a nightlife, shopping, and dining destination with restaurants, retail shops, and a potential hotel establishment.
Today, the Pompano Beach Fishing Village stands as an expanded collaboration between the project's developer Pompano Pier Associates, the CRA and Retail Management Association, and Retail Sites International. When completed, the village will span more than six oceanfront acres, feature 48,000-square-feet of retail space, and will include a unique pedestrian promenade — officially dubbed Pier Street — a route that will be used to link the Pompano Beach fishing pier to the Intracoastal Waterway, said Tim Hernandez, a principal for Pompano Pier Associates, the projects developers.
"Thera aren't too many places in South Florida where you can access the beach from Intracoastal Waterway," said Hernandez. "The goal — the longterm vision — is to create a dining nightlife and entertainment district unlike any other in South Florida."
The project will launch with the construction of a new, 600-plus space, state-of-the-art parking garage located at the southeast intersection of A1A and N.E. 3rd Street. The pier parking garage — which breaks ground later this month and will include space for retail-based businesses on the first floor — stands as the first step for the project aimed at revitalizing the city's coastal commercial property, said Hernandez.
Part of that plan includes the addition of two new restaurants slated to open next year — the Pompano Beach House and Oceanic Oceanfront Dining — which have signed-on as the dining and entertainment anchors for the Pompano Beach Fishing Village, each planned to be located just north of the Pompano Beach pier.
For many years, this area was home to just one waterfront restaurant, Fisherman's Wharf, which closed its doors after damage from Hurricane Wilma in 2005. The restaurant building was demolished shortly after, and the land has stood vacant for more than five years.
But all that will change with the addition of the Pompano Beach House, the latest concept from Ohio-based Anderson Real Estate, the same hospitality management group that owns and operates Brimstone in Pembroke Pines, Grille 401 in Fort Lauderdale, and Piñon Grill in Boca Raton. The restaurant, currently in the design stages, is being described as a two-story establishment with a rooftop patio, bar, and lounge space.
During the day expect a beach-friendly vibe with a relaxed, casual ambiance and a menu offering easy-to-order appetizers, flatbreads, burgers, and sandwiches. Beach-goers may even be able to walk up to a lower-level concession area, where they can order takeaway food and drink options. Come the evening, the vibe will change, giving patrons a more upscale experience paired with a more traditional menu featuring steaks, seafood, sushi, and a raw bar.
"We didn't want something average," said Andy Fox, director of operations for Anderson Real Estate. "We wanted to create something totally unique, something designed specifically for the area that would be unlike anything else in Pompano Beach."
Oceanic Oceanfront Dining will be the second custom-built establishment to occupy the Pompano Beach Fishing Village, located just south of Pompano Beach House, operated by North Carolina-based LM Restaurants, the parent company for Carolina Ale House and Oceanic Oceanfront Dining in Writesville Beach. The menu will feature seafood, steaks, and salads and is expected to open in a two-story building with decks facing with a banquet room that can accommodate more than 100 people.
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Both restaurants are expected to open for business next fall, directly following the grand opening of the pier parking garage.
"We are thrilled about having these restaurants on board," said Hernandez. "Dining-wise, we want the Village to something for everyone, whether it be fast-casual to fine dining. These restaurants will help round out the options, and make Pompano Beach a landmark destination."
The Pompano Beach Fishing Village will be located at 300 N. Ocean Blvd., Pompano Beach.
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.