Taps Coming to Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Himmarshee

Sara Ventiera
There once was a day in which downtown Fort Lauderdale's riverfront and Himmarshee area was full of a variety of different restaurants and bars. From Hooters and laid-back sports bars to high-end Italian restaurant and upscale martinis, there used to be divergent spots for everyone -- and every possible mood one could have.

Then came the real estate bubble, its subsequent collapse, and a bar migration to Las Olas. Somewhere along the lines the downtown area was left by the wayside.

Fortunately, it's coming back. Earlier this year restauranteurs Rodney Mayo and Scott Frielich brought the Dubliner to fill the void that was left by the vacant PL8, a new concept Public House is on its way -- more on that to come -- and now the area's newest beer and wine bar, Taps is coming to town.

We spoke with founder James Devito about the concept and its expected opening date.

See Also: 32 East Owner Butch Johnson, Chef Wayne Alcaide Opening New Concept in Pompano Beach

The restaurant and bar will feature 350 beers -- 30 on tap -- 40 to 60 wines by the glass, full liqueur bar, and upscale American fare.

"We call it smart cooking," said Devito. "Everything is made in-house from scratch daily. We use mostly extra virgin olive oil, very little butter, and we don't use a fryer."

The menu ranges from tapas, such as tuna crudo ($16) with avocado, shaved fennel, red onion, sun-dried tomato, and chili oil served on crisp wontons and crab cake bites ($15) with lemon basil served over a fresh arugula salad to bruschettas ($8 to $11) and a bacon turkey salad ($11).

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