The Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery in Fort Lauderdale has closed, but the Andrews Avenue corridor near the New River soon will be awash in new drinking and eating options.
In the works: a brewery-restaurant near the new Broward County Courthouse, a casual restaurant with a beer terrace in the space formerly occupied by Tilted Kilt, a rooftop bar and eatery in an adjoining building and a small ground-floor named Taste Kitchen that will offer a rotating lineup of pop-up restaurants from visiting chefs.
Spurring the development is the Restaurant People, the Fort Lauderdale company that owns YOLO on Las Olas Boulevard, S3 on the beach and Tarpon Bend in Himmarshee Village.
“It’s exciting,” says Tim Petrillo, president of the Restaurant People. “We see the opportunity for growth and synergy in the area.”
The area eventually will be served by the Wave streetcar, but the restaurants will be open before the transit project is complete.
The most anticipated of the newcomers is to the south of the New River, a brewery slated to open in late summer at 280 SW Sixth St. Tentatively named New River Brewing, it will be a partnership between Julian and Lisa Siegel, the owners of Fort Lauderdale’s popular Riverside Market, veteran craft brewer Adam Fine, of Native Brewing Co., and the Restaurant People.
Through the years, the Siegels have promoted and sold hundreds of craft labels from around the country, stimulating South Florida’s thirst for microbrews. This will be the first time they brew their own.
“It’s a perfect marriage,” Lisa Siegel says. “It’s like the Restaurant People meets ‘the Beer People.’ ”
“I love the passion they bring. They’ve forgotten more about craft beer than I’ll ever learn,” Petrillo says of his new partners. “Adam and the Siegels will handle the beer part and we’ll handle the nonfun stuff: payroll, accounting, HR, management.”
Fine has made Native Lager since 1999, selling bottled batches to stores and restaurants, but he’s never had a showcase brewery to call his own. “I’ve never really been able to experiment and flex my muscles,” says Fine, who also spent a decade as a distributor for other craft beers. “It will be nice to finally have a home.”
Breweries and taprooms have exploded in popularity across South Florida. New River Brewing will pattern itself after brewery restaurants such as the Funky Buddha in Oakland Park and Big Bear Brewing Co., in Coral Springs, with food service and special events. The Siegels will continue operating their Riverside Markets, with two in Fort Lauderdale and an outpost set to open in Plantation by June.
Fine says the new brewery is being converted from a former marine warehouse, a building that originally stabled workhorses used to pave Andrews Avenue, and other Fort Lauderdale streets in the 1940s.
“It’s a really cool space,” Fine says.
Petrillo says the taproom and brewery will have 150 to 200 seats. Fine says he hopes to begin with six to eight beer varieties, which will grow as a barrel-aging program develops.
On the north side of the river, Petrillo is developing a casual restaurant and beer garden in the 8,500-square-foot space where the Tilted Kilt shuttered in February. It will be patterned on a concept the Restaurant People launched in Tallahassee called Township, and he hopes to have the 150-seat eatery open by November.
The Tilted Kilt, a chain “breastaurant” in the Hooters and Twin Peaks mold with servers in skimpy outfits, struggled after opening in Fort Lauderdale in November 2014. Petrillo says he will take over the restaurant lease, at 219 S. Andrews Ave., next week. A Tilted Kilt in Boca Raton remains open.
Petrillo says the two new restaurants in the adjoining building should be open by June. There will be a new rooftop bar/eatery that will seat 100, along with Taste Kitchen, a 25-seat restaurant that will feature visiting chefs from around the region and country.