Vinos on Las Olas opened the day after Thanksgiving in 2014 in the space where Las Olas Café spent many years feeding loyal locals. Many still remember walking down a short walkway off Las Olas to get to Vino’s and entering a charming courtyard that reminded some of Old World bars.
Co-owners Clayton Chelley, wife Valerie Chelley and David Bell at the iconic bartop in Vinos Wine Bar and Cocktail Lounge
People carried their experiences into Vinos. It meant many things to many different people, and they’ve shared stories and memories there with friends…and with me. That feeling is the real appeal of Las Olas Boulevard. Running alongside the bustle of our busy street is a sense of community among those who work and frequent the myriad shops and restaurants.
In the nine years since Vinos opened, we have gone through many changes. Two years ago we relocated to our current location… a total of 77 paces away and across the street from the old one. It’s a bigger space and one that creates a similar environment to the original. Gone is the courtyard but in its place is more room and a warm new atmosphere for our patrons to enjoy.
Growth and change are coming to other areas of the boulevard, too. Due to the richness of the community and the friends I met here, I settled in Fort Lauderdale and have watched the growth and changes over the last nine years. Louie Bossi became a mainstay for the Boulevard and anchored a section of our street which has seen plenty of evolution. On the days I walk to Las Olas along the New River, I see evidence of vibrance from the morning on – be it families walking dogs or professionals beginning the workday. In the evenings, regardless of the time of year, couples, friends and those looking to be social find no better place to stroll than along Las Olas Boulevard.
In addition to the daily charm and attraction of our street, events truly highlight the unique appeal of our neighborhood. For 60 years, Christmas on Las Olas has created indelible memories for thousands of residents and visitors, showcasing the best of our community. With the whole street becoming a pedestrian mall, crowds mingle alongside musical stages, ice rink and a snow mountain. Every April, the Las Olas Food and Wine Festival showcases local food and beverage vendors and raises money for the American Lung Association. These annual events coupled with the daily hum of the center of Fort Lauderdale nightlife are what I have the pleasure to experience every day… On the Boulevard.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Bell is co-owner of Vinos on Las Olas and a board member of the Las Olas Association. A South Florida transplant from New Hampshire for 20 years, David enjoys tennis at the JETC in nearby Holiday Park, travel and, naturally, wining and dining up and down Las Olas Boulevard.
Article from LAS OLAS BOULEVARD & ISLES MAGAZINE is the official bimonthly publication of the Las Olas Association providing our local homeowners, residents, businesses and professionals in the Las Olas Boulevard corridor with relevant local news, civic updates and events information specifically and exclusively focused on our own Las Olas Boulevard, Isles and surrounding area.
Las Olas Boulevard & Isles Magazine is published by Fort Lauderdale Media Associates, Inc
401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Ste. 130-599, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
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