It looks as if Fort Lauderdale has its first dining trend for 2018: fancy sandwiches. Two eateries featuring chef-created specialty sandwiches are set to debut in the new year. The Proper Sandwich Shop in the artsy Fat Village area downtown is expected to open in January. Subs and Suds will open this winter across from the acclaimed Riverside Market near Riverside Park and Sailboat Bend.
Each restaurant comes from established culinary teams. Proper Sandwich is being launched by JEY Hospitality, the group behind ROK:BRGR, PizzaCraft and TacoCraft. Subs and Suds is from chef Jeremy Powell and restaurateur Memphis Garrett, who opened the Poke House in Fort Lauderdale a year ago.
Neither eatery will be amenable to substitutions or build-your-own creations.
“We plan on having 12 or 13 signature sandwiches with regional favorites — a French dip from L.A., a Philly cheesesteak, a classic Italian,” Garrett says. Salads also will be offered. The restaurant is planning on having specialty nights, Garrett says, with Memphis pulled pork on Mondays and lobster rolls on Thursdays.
The Proper Sandwich also will offer sandwiches with specialty ingredients crafted by the kitchen, says Matt Walsh of JEY Hospitality. He says the eatery, at 545 NW First Ave., will also offer breakfast items and housemade pies. Hours will likely be 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Meats smoked and cured on the premises, artisanal cheeses and housemade toppings and condiments will be featured on bread from top local bakers.
"We decided on FAT Village because of its location, urban vibe, as well as distance to new residential mixed-use developments and upcoming Brightline Railway. It’s a perfect fit for our vision,” Marc Falsetto, founder of JEY Hospitality, says in a press release.
Subs and Suds also will bring in bread from outside purveyors. The eatery will be open for lunch and dinner (likely hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m.) and will feature pairings of craft beer to go along with each sandwich. A Honolulu pork sandwich with Japanese barbecue sauce, spicy pineapple pico and fennel-cabbage slaw on a sweet hoagie roll will be paired with Maui Brewing Company’s Big Swell IPA. A classic Miami Cuban sandwich will be paired with Cerveza Hatuey. For kids and the alcohol averse, the restaurant will offer soft-serve ice cream and blend-in blizzards.
Garrett, who lives in Sailboat Bend, says he and business partner Samantha DeBianchi love the secluded and bucolic neighborhood around Riverside Park and say it is ripe for more restaurants. When they heard that the longtime owner of Bozo’s Sandwich Shop was ready to sell, they negotiated to buy the property.
“We closed on the deal about three weeks ago,” Garrett says. “It’s such a neat old building.”
Garrett has a full plate for the holiday season. His new Fort Lauderdale craft-beer room, Growlers and Howlers, is scheduled to open this week across from the Poke House in the Victoria Park Shoppes.
Garrett says Subs and Suds, at 601 SW 12th Ave., will feature a large new patio and an indoor dining area. “We’re shooting for a mid-January opening, but we’ll see how that goes,” Garrett says. “It will be the perfect place to hang out, have a sandwich and a beer.”
The eatery is in a hard-to-find neighborhood that has been harder to access lately due to the emergency closure of the Snow-Reed Swing Bridge. The bridge is scheduled to reopen by January. Garrett says he hopes for a symbiotic relationship with the Riverside Market, a craft-beer haven that also features pizza and bar food.
“We’re hoping that more options bring more people,” Garrett says.