Tropical Acres reopens to the public tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. for dinner, its first since the restaurant was stricken by a fire August 30.
Since 1949, Tropical
Acres has stood as a relic of an era in Florida when men wore jackets
to dine and the Everglades started just west of the Florida East Coast Railway train tracks.
The restaurant was as known for the simple steaks and fried shrimp it
served as it was for its neon sign pointing tourists west from Federal
Michael Greenlaw says that while assessing damage, workers found the
original tongue-and-groove walls behind paneling, inspiring his family
to restore the restaurant to the way it had looked in the 1940s. The
rebuild included plumbing and electrical work in
the kitchen as well as new carpet and wall coverings in the dining room.
Seventy-five percent of the kitchen equipment was salvaged.
"The city has been great in helping us get
back on our feet," says Greenlaw. Between 55 and 60 of the original 65 workers
are slated to return.
This 1970s menu is part of an exhibit in the Broward County Library:
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"Eating in South Florida: 1880s -1980s," on display through the end of
the month. Can't make the reopening? Look to this space Wednesday for the update.