Written by Philli Valys of Sun Sentinel
March 19, 2019
The Wharf, the pop-up dining and entertainment space along the Miami River, is sailing north to Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Riverfront this fall.
Dubbed the Wharf Fort Lauderdale, the sister location of the popular open-air lounge will take shape at 40 W. Las Olas Blvd., occupying the busy stretch of riverfront between Esplanade Park and Huizenga Plazas.
The Wharf Fort Lauderdale will feature six food and drink tenants, says real-estate developer Dev Motwani, whose firm Merrimac Ventures owns 1.35 acres of Las Olas Riverfront. Last week, Motwani says he signed a temporary lease agreement with Wharf Miami owner Emi Guerra to bring six vendors to the riverfront. He also partnered with property developer Rodney Barreto of Coral Gables-based Barreto Group.
The Wharf idea, Motwani says, was born out of practical necessity. As a business partner with Property Markets Group, which is developing the two-tower X Las Olas apartment-retail building nearby, Motwani says he wanted a short-term vendor to liven up Las Olas Riverfront’s nightlife scene while he waits for nearby construction to wrap up.
“I think it makes perfect sense, because with so much construction going on, we’re wedged between two construction sites [X Las Olas and 4 West Las Olas],” Motwani says.
Motwani and Guerra declined to say how long the Wharf’s lease agreement would last, and Guerra says he’s meeting this week with food-and-drink vendors.
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“Our goal is to work with Fort Lauderdale-based chefs, or restaurants, that want to spin off their own food-truck concepts, and then we’ll put them on a rotation,” Guerra says.
Since Guerra opened the 30,000-square-foot Wharf Miami (114 SW North River Drive, Miami) in 2017, his community hangout has served more than 1 million patrons. His nautically themed 300-seat venue features a communal table under shaded tents, along with Astroturf grass and nearby docks for access by boat. As with its sister location, the Wharf Miami features a rotating lineup of food trucks and DJs, live music and one-off parties. Current Miami vendors, according to the Wharf’s website, includes Mojo Donuts and Fried Chicken, and Sweet Melody Crafted Ice Cream. A satellite raw bar location of iconic seafood restaurant Garcia’s anchors the marketplace.
“This downtown [Fort Lauderdale] area is great,” Guerra says. “There are a lot of condo towers within walking distance, and by nature, we’re a laid-back venue, so we hope to get a lot of foot traffic from residents nearby.”
The Wharf Fort Lauderdale will debut this fall at 20 W. Las Olas Blvd., in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Go to WharfFTL.com.
Click HERE to see the Original Article on the Sun Sentinel.
The Wharf Fort Lauderdale
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