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Bokamper seafood restaurant opening at site of Oasis Cafe on beach

Three years after Oasis Cafe vacated city-owned property at Fort Lauderdale beach, the site is still a construction zone.

Former Miami Dolphin Kim Bokamper needs more time but still plans to open Bo’s Beach House, a seafood and wood-fired pizza restaurant, on the slice of land where northbound and southbound State Road A1A converge.

Tangled in permitting delays, Bokamper and his partners, P.D.K.N. Holdings, were granted an 18-month break in rent by city commissioners Tuesday night. The rent abatement amounts to $337,500.

The new restaurant is under construction and expected to open in August, lawyer-lobbyist Courtney Crush said. On the menu: shrimp, fish, Ahi tuna, conch fritters, cheeseburgers, steak and pizza.

For two decades, the Oasis Cafe attracted tourists and locals to its swinging picnic tables and view of the sand and surf at 600 Seabreeze Blvd. But when back rent and taxes rang up to a $130,000 unpaid bill, the city voted to evict the cafe and looked for something new.

Bokamper, who has a chain of sports-themed restaurants, Bokamper's Sports Bar & Grill, won the deal in August 2015. He appeared in City Hall briefly Tuesday, where commissioners approved the deal without comment.

Construction of the new, casual seafood eatery is taking longer than expected. In a letter to the city, Crush attributed delays to city-ordered changes in architecture, and relocation of an underground water line, among other things.

The city has owned the choice land since 1947. Broward’s older residents might remember a Sinclair gas station there in 1948. In the 1970s, the city’s beach patrol had its quarters on the property. John Amodeo’s Oasis Cafe was next, signing a lease in 1994. After the 2015 eviction vote, Oasis comptroller Ted Sabarese said “all rents and any other charges were paid in full,” but the city’s expectation for rent was too high to remain in the location, he said. Amodeo is still a restaurateur, with the Drunken Taco at the beach and Giovanni’s Coal Fire Pizza in Sunrise.

In other action, Fort Lauderdale commissioners Tuesday:

- POLICE: Held a ceremony to promote and swear in Police Chief Rick Maglione, Assistant Chief Luis Alvarez, Major Dana Swisher, Lts. Nicholas Coffin, David Cortes, Avery Figueras, Ronald Magno; and Sgts. Margaret Dryden, Kenneth Giles, James McDowell, Matthew Moceri, and Tanisha Stevens.

- PARKING: Postponed to March 20 a decision on whether to remove a requirement that the county allow public parking after hours in a relatively new, 1,000-car county garage on South Andrews Avenue and Seventh Street. The county is complaining that the requirement is holding up construction of a 500-car secure garage for judges. County officials say they intend to allow the public to park in the garage eventually, but for now it’s not possible because some judges and senior courthouse staff use it after hours.

- CAMERAS: Agreed to accept a fully operational camera system with license plate readers and security cameras for police use in the Bermuda Riviera finger islands neighborhoods west of the Galt Ocean Mile, on the Intracoastal Waterway.

- ELECTION: Agreed to give the Broward elections office $311,492 for staffing during the March 13 city election.

Brittany Wallman can be reached at bwallman@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4541. Find her on Twitter @BrittanyWallman.

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