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Take a sneak peek of Sistrunk Marketplace and Brewery, Fort Lauderdale’s first food hall, which opens in October.

The brewing tanks haven’t arrived, decorations are scarce and the food stalls are empty, but the indoor foodie village known as Sistrunk Marketplace and Brewery is finally taking shape.

The 40,000-square-foot lifestyle complex, scheduled to open the first week of October, will occupy a pair of two-story, charcoal-gray warehouses on Sistrunk Boulevard across the street from Fort Lauderdale’s FAT Village. It’s a sprawling space, boasting a food hall with 14 food and drink stalls, including a butcher shop and a Japanese ramen joint, an Asian dessert shop and a coffeehouse, a brewery and – eventually – a small-batch distillery.

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The biggest vendor? That’s Khoffner Brewery, moving from its old Fort Lauderdale digs to a new 20-barrel brewhouse and taproom pouring German-style lagers and ales.

Sistrunk Marketplace and Brewery is located across the street from FAT Village in Fort Lauderdale where Sistrunk Boulevard meets the FEC railroad tracks.
Sistrunk Marketplace and Brewery is located across the street from FAT Village in Fort Lauderdale where Sistrunk Boulevard meets the FEC railroad tracks. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

And that’s just the food hall. Elsewhere at the marketplace is a retail co-op with 10 arts-and-craft vendors occupying tiny stalls; a DJ academy and soundproofed recording studio for aspiring musicians; a live-music stage and karaoke rooms; and enough plush chairs and communal-style tables to fill a banquet hall.

But Sistrunk Marketplace and its paralyzing lineup of vendors aren’t here yet. Six weeks before debut, maintenance workers painted drywall and swept floors over the whir of industrial fans. Next up: paving 80 fresh parking spaces in the building’s back yard.

Sistrunk Marketplace and Brewery is composed of two buildings, the largest of which features a food hall with 14 food and drink vendors, the new Khoffner Brewery, a recording studio and a live music space. Eventually, it will include a distillery and co-working spaces.
Sistrunk Marketplace and Brewery is composed of two buildings, the largest of which features a food hall with 14 food and drink vendors, the new Khoffner Brewery, a recording studio and a live music space. Eventually, it will include a distillery and co-working spaces. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

On Wednesday, we toured the in-progress marketplace with Society 8 project manager Steven Dapuzzo (Park & Ocean, Wild Thyme Oceanside Eatery), who envisions the cavernous Sistrunk as an “eclectic mix of food and fun in a cool, communal atmosphere.”

“We’re offering a bunch of choices for work and free time,” Dapuzzo says. “It’s everything you want in a dining experience. Nobody ever has to leave unless you want to take a nap.”

Here’s what else is rising at Sistrunk Marketplace and Brewery.

New restaurants and bars

A wood-fired oven occupies a vendor stall of a future Neapolitan-style pizzeria at Sistrunk Marketplace.
A wood-fired oven occupies a vendor stall of a future Neapolitan-style pizzeria at Sistrunk Marketplace. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Sistrunk Marketplace’s ground-floor food hall so far features 11 named vendors and three unnamed stalls, each divided in 15-by-20-foot kiosks and 20-by-20-foot storefronts. They are:

  • Chop Shoppe Meat and Provisions, a butcher shop offering meats by the pound as well as custom sandwiches.
  • Senbazuru Miami, an Asian fusion tapas eatery specializing in hearty ramen bowls.
  • Bronte, an Australian coffeehouse serving matcha lavender lattes (with homemade syrup), various tea blends and coffee from Tequesta-based roaster Oceana.
  • Heavenly Raw Living Food, a vegan café featuring veggie norimaki rolls, raw pastas, vegetarian burgers and desserts, and cold-pressed juices and smoothes.
  • Poke OG, a poke bowl and sushi shack outpost of the Wynwood restaurant.
  • Kasai & Koori, an Asian dessert shop featuring treats such as Japanese kakigori, Taiwanese shaved ice, Taiyaki waffle cones and Korean bingsoo. Future locations are coming to Canyon Town Center in Boynton Beach, City Center in Pembroke Pines and Pineapple Grove in Delray Beach.
  • Snack Bar/Center Bar, the centerpiece of Sistrunk’s food hall, featuring an island Snack Bar offering grab-and-go items. It shares its space with Center Bar, which offers liquor and draft beer.
  • Khoffner Brewery, the namesake of brewer Rauf Vagifoglu-Khoffner, will include a 20-barrel brewhouse and taproom. There also will be a new canning line and new beer additions such as Sistrunk APA, an American pale ale; Flagler IPA; an habanero-infused IPA; Khoffner Cream Ale and Khoffner Brown Ale.
  • Hot Lime, a taco and ceviche stand that will operate out of a Volkswagon Airstream bus. It comes from chef-owners Daniel Gonzalez and Carlos Padilla, who’ve worked previously at Vagabond, Dragonfly Izakaya and Fish Market, BLT Prime and the Island Bistro. Specialties include short-rib tacos, quinoa salads and Mexican-style street corn.
  • Osom Crepes, a French creperie serving sweet and savory stuffed crepes such as the Mediterranean (prosciutto di Parma, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and arugula, rosemary olive oil and balsamic glaze); and the B&B (dulce de leche, marshmallow, bananas, salted caramel syrup).
  • The Empanada Bodega, an empanada kiosk offering 12 fillings from common (beef, chicken, barbecue pork, shrimp) to not-so-common (Hawaiian-style, guava and cheese).
  • An unnamed Southern-style chicken shack, tentatively called Mother Clucker, featuring Nashville-style hot chicken and down-home dishes.
  • An unnamed pizzeria, which will bake Neapolitan-style pies inside a wood-fired oven.
  • An unnamed speakeasy-style lounge serving custom cocktails and spirits from Shady Distillery, which will eventually craft rum, vodka, whiskey and bourbon in a building next door.
The future site of a speakeasy-style lounge inside Sistrunk Marketplace.
The future site of a speakeasy-style lounge inside Sistrunk Marketplace. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun Sentinel)
The future home of Sistrunk Marketplace's butcher shop, Chop Shoppe Meat and Provisions, already contains some decorations.
The future home of Sistrunk Marketplace's butcher shop, Chop Shoppe Meat and Provisions, already contains some decorations. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun Sentinel)
The future site of Bronte, a cafe inside Sistrunk Marketplace.
The future site of Bronte, a cafe inside Sistrunk Marketplace. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun Sentinel)
An unnamed Southern-style kitchen will occupy this Sistrunk Marketplace storefront when the food hall opens this October.
An unnamed Southern-style kitchen will occupy this Sistrunk Marketplace storefront when the food hall opens this October. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Wait. There’s a distillery, too?

There is. Shady Distillery, which will pump out vodka, bourbon, whiskey and rums, will debut next spring inside a 20,000-square-foot building behind the food hall. That building also will house co-working spaces. A pet project for Dapuzzo, the distillery will make sugarcane-distilled vodka punched with Florida orange juice, barrel-aged bourbons and cinnamon-flavored whiskeys, to be served at Sistrunk’s bar and other Society 8 properties such as Park & Ocean and Wild Thyme.

Given South Florida’s newest crop of distilleries, Dapuzzo hopes the market is ripe for more craft liquor. “There’s been a boon of craft beer, but what’s next is craft spirits,” says Dapuzzo, who’s weeks from signing a contract to hire a distiller.

Why in Fort Lauderdale?

Dapuzzo says he hopes to capture foot traffic from the thousands of young, urban Flagler Village-ites shuffling into the neighborhood’s new high-rises.

Society 8 project manager Steven Dapuzzo talks about his plans for Sistrunk Marketplace and Brewery.
Society 8 project manager Steven Dapuzzo talks about his plans for Sistrunk Marketplace and Brewery. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

His Society 8 Hospitality Group paid $4.65 million for the 2.3-acre site in April 2017, according to South Florida Sun Sentinel reports, around the same time a blitz of food halls began popping up across South Florida. Dapuzzo also received a $1.4 million forgivable loan from Fort Lauderdale’s Community Redevelopment Agency, part of the city’s push to lure a flurry of retail and housing investments into the neighborhood.

The music

There’s not much to see yet, but the second-floor marketplace will be home to Wired Sound Academy. A DJ studio will include practice turntables and soundboards, while a soundproofed booth will allow visitors to book recording time for music projects.

Why a DJ academy? Answer: “We have experienced DJs and young entrepreneurs who want to pass on what they know,” Dapuzzo says. “As Fort Lauderdale grows trendier, we need more well-rounded options like these.”

The centerpiece of Sistrunk Marketplace's food hall, this island bar will serve grab-and-go snacks along with beer and liquor.
The centerpiece of Sistrunk Marketplace's food hall, this island bar will serve grab-and-go snacks along with beer and liquor. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Downstairs, there will be a karaoke room (for live karaoke nights) and a live-music stage near the speakeasy-style lounge. Music acts will be booked as soon as October, Dapuzzo says.

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Sistrunk Market and Brewery is scheduled to open the first week of October at 115 NW Sixth St., in Fort Lauderdale. Hours of operation are 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-midnight Friday, 8 a.m.-midnight Saturday and 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday. Call 954-329-2551 or go to SistrunkMarketplace.com

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