April 2018 – Consider how different the street seemed after the addition of YOLO, American Social, and the Royal Pig. But what has always stayed the same is that Fort Lauderdale residents see Las Olas as the city’s gem. We live and work there, we go out there at night, and, when we have out-of-town visitors, Las Olas is our first stop.
Now, Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard restaurant, dining, bar-scene and the surrounding entertainment area is changing again. An influx of younger residents to downtown condos and apartments has helped bring about new spots to the entertainment area.
We’ve summarized a few of the newcomers. Hopefully we will see you there.
Boathouse at the Riverside
620 SE Fourth St.
Hoping to capitalize on a lack of New River dining, the Riverside Hotel designed an open-air restaurant and bar with wide views of the water. The feel is both South Beach slick and beachy, with a night-club-like rectangle bar sitting beside booths, tables, and pillow-stuffed chairs that look ready for lounging. Big ceiling fans hang from Bahamian-style beamed ceilings, and large openings give a full view of the passing boat traffic. At the helm is Chef Toby Joseph, who’s been with the Riverside since 2009 and created a diverse menu with items like spiced baby back ribs octopus paella negra, and duck fat potatoes with chimichurri. What should you expect from there? The Riverside’s website promises “deck shoes and shades meets bottles and breeze.”
The Balcony Las Olas
1309 E Las Olas Blvd.
The team behind Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill is opening “The Balcony”, a New Orleans-themed bar and tapas restaurant. As the name applies, a French Quarter-style balcony overlooks Las Olas. The Balcony promises live music, crawfish boils, and bottomless dish Saturdays.
El Camino Mezcal & Tequila Bar
817 E. Las Olas Blvd.
It seemed like a risk in 2013 when El Camino opened on a relatively quiet side street in Delray Beach, with a hipster Mexican restaurant vibe that felt more big city than Palm Beach County. But for three years running, El Camino has earned a spot on Opentable’s “Top 100 Hottest Spots in America” list, and from happy hour on, it’s rare to pass the place without a crowd spilling out on the sidewalk. The owners, the Modern Restaurant Group, hope to repeat that success on Las Olas. The second El Camino occupies the former home of Voodka and Grill Republic. They spent a reported $3 million to build out the 6,000-square-foot space, giving it a modern warehouse-like vibe. Glass garage doors open to 20-foot ceilings and a bar stocked with 400-plus varieties of tequila and mezcal. The party vibe is underlined by $2 happy hour tacos, $5 margaritas, and $2 specials on Taco Tuesday. Brunches come accompanied with endless mimosas and sangrias.
With 200 seats in the dining room, 50 more outdoors, and an indoor-slash-outdoor bar for 60, El Camino aims to be among the boulevard’s biggest parties.
Other Restaurants OPEN SOON on Las Olas Boulevard:
Etaru – 500 E. Las Olas (bottom of Icon Las Olas)
Red Door – Asian Bistro 625 E. Las Olas
Del Frisco’s Grille – 515 E. Las Olas, Vapianos 715 E. Las Olas
Sushi Shack – 1301 E. Las Olas
Talento – 1305 E. Las Olas
Read more about new hot spots on Las Olas in the April 1 Edition of Las Olas Boulevard & Isles Magazine