Rodney Mayo on the Short Life of Dubliner in Fort Lauderdale

Categories: Concerts

Christina Mendenhall
Most of us did a double take when we read the news that the Dubliner in Fort Lauderdale was shuttering its doors and being sold only a year into its residency in the Himmershee district.

What could have gone wrong? Every time we were there to check out a gig, the place seemed packed, well, somewhat. Coupled with the Vagabond closing down south in Miami, we began to wonder what was going on at the Subculture Group. The Palm Beach County-based conglomerate headed by nightlife impresario Rodney Mayo had its hands in Vagabond and owned the Dubliner. Is this group of restauranteurs and nightclub purveyors facing hard times? Or perhaps they just dumping deadweight.

New Times caught up with the ever-industrious Mr. Mayo for a few minutes to get the scoop. Seems like the Dubliner in Fort Lauderdale didn't attract the right crowd Mayo had envisioned and the Vagabond, well its time had come and gone. Read our interview with Mayo after the jump.

See also: Rodney Mayo Opening Camelot, a Sophisticated Lounge for Downtown West Palm Beach

New Times: Why did you decided to close up shop on the Dubliner in Fort Lauderdale so soon? Everything seemed to be going OK.
Rodney Mayo: Not really, it wasn't really working. We knew [Himmarshee] was a good party street, but didn't know to what extent. We wanted to concentrate on an upscale Irish bar with great food. Seemed everyone just cared about cheap drinks. We would have stuck it out for a bit longer, but we got a good quick offer to buy the business, so we took it to focus on other ventures.

Why do you think the location in Boca Raton thrives and the spot in Fort Lauderdale dwindled?
It's a different audience, totally different street vibe. In Mizner Park, more folks are looking to eat, not just out for a good street party.

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Richard Jones
Richard Jones

The "people want cheap" is a cop-out; the few times I went in there the service was lacking and the food was mediocre. I don't mind paying if there is something special for the premium. I may have also picked a different area where you couldn't hit another Irish bar with a stone and another a 5 minute walk away.


I wonder what will happen to the tilted kilt once it opens downtown?

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