Updated
Oct 15th, 2018
First Posted
May 9th, 2018

Township

219 Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33301
(954) 338-4070
Overall Rating
2.8
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
10/14/2018

Details

Dress Code: Casual
Parking: $10 Valet, Garage nearby
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
HasWifi: Yes
Wifi password: Email Required
Outdoor: Yes
Delivery: No

Pros

Big Space with lots of big TVs
Lots of Beer Choices

Cons

Expensive Bar Food, Forced Recipes
There is no Beer Garden
Just a remodeled Tilted Kilt
Not a good place to watch Out of Market games

Insider Tips

Bring SunGlasses

Critic's Review

87 degrees and no Giants game so I decided to try some food at Township. I was also curious to see how they were doing. I arrived at 3:08p to a decent but not huge crowd.

There were no seats at the main bar; the back room was open but there was no bartender and it wasn't somewhere I wanted to sit. (Note the glare on the TVs)

Wireless here Blows; 10x slower than LTE. Plus you have to give them an Email address. Typical Petrillo.

They have a plan here; they have signs beneath each TV that you can barely read with the harsh lighting; the problem is that it's not a very good plan. The Dolphins were on every other set; I set out to find the Jets game.

The Bills vs Texans were only on one set in the southwestern corner of the cavernous structure.

The loneliness of the Bills fan; sitting in a corner watching his game. Maybe he was a Texans fan.

The Jets / Indy game was on exactly 1 set that I could find; In the corner of the main room, over a booth facing the other direction.

I'm glad I'm not a Jets fan; I would have had to stand to watch the game here. Of course if I was a Jets fan I wouldn't be here. They play the sound of the Dolphins game during the game, and loud music during commercials and when there's no Dolphins game on. There's a DJ by the TV Collage selecting the tunes.

Dog's are allowed, apparently.

A scuffle broke out right by the bar and security had to get involved; TRP restaurants are the only ones that need security; I've never seen a fight at The Pig or Big City and those places don't have (or need) bouncers.

After 1/2 hour I got a seat at the bar and ordered a beer. Dolphins, TB or Pitt were the games on at this bar. Not sure how they come up with their plan.

I ordered some Jerk Wings and asked what came with it; I asked for an alternative to the scary sounding "chipotle sauce" and settled on Ranch, which pairs well with jerk seasoning.

The guy next to me was ordering the small beer (1/3 Stein is about 11oz). I'm surprised it didn't come with a cover and a bendy straw. That's what happens when there's no bonus for ordering the bigger beer; You buy small ones until you've had enough.

The food came out in 5 minutes.

A good portion for $11; they gave me both the sauce normally served with the wings along with the ranch. It would have been good if the red pepper garnish was hot peppers; but it was just red bell peppers that added no heat to the offering.

The drums were all different sizes, most of them pretty large.

The jerk seasoning was a bit sweet for my taste and not quite spicy enough, but it was a pretty good version. Better than Coconuts but not nearly as good as Calypso.

The big problem here was that while big drumsticks might seem like a good thing, they weren't cooked through. They were raw in the middle; it's less enjoyable eating things when you have to worry about whether it's cooked well enough. You'd think the people who own Spatch would have a method to make sure that wings were cooked through.

The chipotle sauce was predictably bad; when are restaurants going to figure out that Chipotle is not a good flavor?

As the early games ended after 4p, the security team started rolling down the garage doors to shut out the back room. I guess it makes the place seem smaller after everyone leaves after the Dolphin's game.

TV management here is poor; they didn't change over the sets to the late game until 4:40. It took them 15 minutes to switch the Wall of TVs to a late game, which means that 1) nobody cared and 2) if you did care you missed most of the 1st quarter.

I wanted to hang out for a while after the Dolphins game was over to see what it looked like 1/2 hour after the game, but the game went into overtime and I didn't feel like hanging around until 5. At 4:30 most of the people had left; I didn't see one Cowboys fan in the joint; the big late game was DAL vs JAX so my guess is that it would be totally dead by 5:30.

Conclusion

My initial impression of this place was pretty much spot on; it's the same as the Tilted Kilt with better decor and less offensive outfits on the women. And if you're not a Dolphins fan, you can't come here to watch your game because you may be stuck in the corner. Only if your game is on at the bar and you have a seat in front of it is this a good place to watch out of market games.

The fact that in a town full of people from all over the country, there were no Jets fans and only a spattering of fans not watching the Dolphins vs Bears tells you that this is not a great tourist town sports bar. They've taken the passive route by just going for the local team's fans; which takes it off your list if you root for a team from somewhere else.

Update 8/23/18

Word on the street is that this place has been dead since the world cup, but I've been wanting to try some food. So I walked down a bit after 2pm and thought I might catch the Red Sox game on the big wall TV. Fat chance of that.

I walked in at 2:27. No hostess. No people.

What was truly astonishing is that there wasn't a live game on the main TV; they had some sort of marlins promo. There was 1 bartender at the rear bar; of course the person I can't stand, so I wasn't sitting at the bar. Also astonishingly, they didn't have any live games on the bar TVs.

The rear bar wasn't open; it appears that they've relegated the outdoor patio to be some sort of game room:

I decided that sitting in a big empty room and having to find someone willing to change the big TV was too much of a burden and I left and went home.

Review 7/7/18

Although I have zero interest in the World Cup, it did present an opportunity to check out Township, the latest endeavor of The Restaurant People. TRP partner Steve Halmos owns the building, and when Tilted Kilt went under they opted to copy a concept they partnered on in Tallahassee.

The Tilted Kilt people had all kinds of reasons as to why they failed; none of which included their utter incompetence in running a sports bar. Bad location, bad parking, too big a space, bad outside space; all of which also apply to Township.

But I was curious to see what they'd done with the place. Permits claim a $900,000 remodel cost, which seems like an awful lot for a space that was a fairly new restaurant previously.

The entrance used by the tilted kilt is an entrance no more.

Unlike the Tilted Kilt, they have a hostess station at the entrance to the main room. Looking at the room, they did a NYC warehouse strip job on the place; they stripped the green wallpaper and wood trim, painted the ducts black and added some industrial looking fans and girders.

One thing they kept was the collage TVs on the wall; the central focus for watching the game of the moment.

Most of the changes made are positive. They added some bigger booths and opened up the kitchen; because every restaurant MUST have an open kitchen so we can watch the $14/hr line cooks make the wings and pretzels.

The back room, which used to be the front room at the kilt, is sort of a bar lounge area; they did away with the indoor/outdoor bar.

Lots of cool-looking uncomfortable seating.

While their cut and pasted marketing from the Tallahassee location talks about a "beer garden"; there is no beer garden here. They have the same small outside patio that the Tilted Kilt had; with exactly zero people outside.

One good thing they did was to bring the TVs down closer to the bar, creating a much better viewing experience at the bar. The Kilt had TVs way up high and they just didn't compete with other modern sports bars.

The back corner is just a dreary space that will serve to isolate people who aren't interested in the community experience in the main room.

I felt compelled to buy something, so I asked for a beer menu. They don't have their menu online anywhere I can find, so I couldn't decide in advance. I opted for a Fat Tire Amber. They have 3 sizes: 1/3, 1/2 and a full liter; a liter is 33 oz, so the 1/2 is a pint and the 1/3 is pretty small;

Notice that there is no bonus for buying a stein; it costs twice as much for a full liter as it does for a half liter! The Restaurant People are so great!

Not a bad beer.

I took in the "scene" for a while; except for a table of people wearing Croatian flags, nobody seemed all that interested in the game. Loud music blared during all of the breaks; all the things I hated about Tilted Kilt are still here. In fact I couldn't help but feel like I was in the Tilted Kilt. The stupid outfits at the kilt were never a positive factor for me, and the food coming out looked about the same quality.

Most of the people here were just industry people here for the "scene". Nobody cares about soccer, but this was the new place and soccer is the thing of the moment, so people were just coming in to hang out. I recognized several bartenders from the area; it was the same deal on NFL sundays when the Kilt first opened. The problem is that these people won't be hanging out here once the newness has worn off. These aren't sports fans; these are people who just want to be in the "it" place of the day.

Replacing the table and chairs with benches is more gimmickry than anything else; I'm not a fan of bench seating and they just seem like edgy picnic tables to me.

Another problem with the Kilt that remains here is that the big main room is great for watching 1 game but the peripheral sets are not ideal. So watching the Dolphins in the main room is great, but watching other games it was always a problem finding the game and then you'd be stuffed into some corner.

Another thing that's not clear is whether or not this place is going to be a sports bar. There weren't any other games on. No Red Sox. No Wimbledon. Do they even have the baseball package? They don't market themselves as a sports bar.

Something that baffled me was their logo; on the sign they have a tarpon; which appears to be the logo for the now closed Tarpon Bend; but all of the servers were wearing T-Shirts with a TWP logo on it.

My first idea was "The Westwant People", with a Bugs Bunny dialect. But after doing some research is seems that TWP is an acronym for Township (as well as The Washington Post). Did you know that? Nothing like using logos that you have to explain to people.

On my way out I snapped a shot of the mostly young, beer drinking crowd.

Conclusion

My impression of Township is that it's yet-another mistake by the Restaurant People; they couldn't come up with a new idea to open in the Tilted Kilt space so they've tried to force a concept from Tallahassee designed for a college town. The problem is that they have an actual, beautiful outside space in Tallahassee; an actual Beer Garden. Here they have a bad patio with a view of the parking lot.

Are the movers and shakers who hang at the Rooftop going to come here for pretzels and bratwust before they hit the lounge? Will the TRP Taste people wander in to watch MLB highlights after a 5 course meal next door? Or will this be a place that Dolphins fans come to 16 days a year to watch a game?

While the decor is better, I don't see that there's an idea here that changed the formula that made the Tilted Kilt a loser in this location. As a serious sports fan who lives within walking distance; bratwurst and pretzels just aren't good enough reasons to get me to walk 1/2 mile. Heck, I don't even know if they get the games I want to watch.

Previous Musings

Imagine sitting on cafeteria seating and enjoying a deep fried pretzel with little cups of grain mustard and cheese, or a shrimp ceviche taco with a stein of beer? Soon you'll be able to realize this dream.

Huge Pretzel or tiny tray?

Coming to Fort Lauderdale; a beer hall concept with a "gastropub" menu that threatens to make the Tilted Kilt look like a good idea. It's not clear if the menu will be the same as Tallahassee, but we have the menu to get an idea of what they are doing there.

Last year, The Restaurant People partnered with a marketing dude in Tallahassee to open the Township concept near the FSU campus. The difference is that the restaurant there seems fairly priced; will they be selling $10 double cheeseburgers in Fort Lauderdale which will serve to cannibalize their other nearby food businesses? Another difference is that Fort Lauderdale is not a college campus town.

The Restaurant People, who have become synonymous with uncomfortable seating, continue to use the same designer who doesn't get that people don't want to sit on something that looks cool but that functions like a balance ball. No word on if Big Time Designs in involved in this project.

They're calling this a gastropub, which is a concept that came and died in 2010. This would appear to be the same idea as The Brass Tap, which is possibly the worst venue in all of Fort Lauderdale.

Since VIBE, the "music venue" morphed into a full-fledged roach motel, TRP has launched the now defunct Fork & Balls, S3 (how IS that place anyway?) and the poorly received Spatch; how much longer will Halmos feed these guys without an idea his money?

Can't be worse that the Tilted Kilt. Or can it? Expected to open by November. The building is currently being used as a hiring center for their other venues opening next door.

Comment Policy Add Comment
John
Reply
Dead on a Sat Afternoon.
Administrator
Reply
All of the reviews for this place read like advertisements outlining the happy hour and how great the servers are. Seems fishy to me
Rob
Reply
Now on their 3rd GM
Administrator
Reply
Probably the worst, most millenial-centric brunch menu in the history of restaurants. It's like they copied it out of a restaurant newsletter. Why even have brunch on NFL Sundays?
Ally
Reply
I've been laughing for 3 days at their "Cheddar Mustard Hollandaise". Let's take a delicate classic sauce and make it pretzel friendly. Too funny.
Administrator
Reply
I might have to add Pretzels as a category.
Administrator
Reply
They've changed their menu already; They originally had a double cheeseburger for $12; not they have a single cheeseburger for $12 and a double "TWP" burger for $12 with no cheese. Oddly there isn't even an option to add cheese to the double burger on the menu. Also interesting is that there isn't a single picture of a burger online.
Grace
Reply
Astute Review.
Greg
Reply
This is a kids bar, 100%. Loud music, pretzels and beer. Bench seating. 25 and under.
Administrator
Reply
They have the pre-opening web site back up. Nicely done guys.

I walked over to the place on a Saturday at 2p to try some food, and the place was dead empty; maybe 14 customers. The back bar was closed and there were 2 bartenders at the big bar; one of whom happened to be the one person I know who works here that I can't stand. No baseball games on; I'm still not sure if they even have the baseball package. I decided to abort.

Curious George
Reply
Oh man who is the bartender you can't stand? Can't leave a meatball out there like that!
Administrator
Reply
Sorry, some things are out of bounds.
Administrator
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The "Restaurant People" have a template website up with most of the placeholders still in place. You'd think a place with so many restaurants wouldn't have such an amateur operation doing their web sites. Of course you'd think that someone would have to approve it to put it online.
Greg
Reply
Spot on. I agree with your conclusion.
Administrator
Reply
Big sausages and oversized pretzels are now available.

The "restaurant people" still haven't figured out how to get a web site up in 8 months; no menu on their FB page either. Bravo guys.
Linda
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I think Tim fired the social media girl and does it himself now.
Linda
Reply
The pretzels are coming soon!
Administrator
Reply
Something interesting is that FL law states that if your SFS license is revoked, you can't have any interest in another SFS application for 120 days. So that may imply that The Restaurant People can't obtain an SFS license until February.
Anonymous
Reply
You can ride The Wave (brought to you by the DDA run by TRP [owners])
to buy your over-priced pretzel - dream of Alan Hooper & Tim Petrillo.
The guys who bought Maguire's Hill 16 to tear it down and build condos without parking.

Spatch is terrible - just buy a whole chicken and grill it yourself - they sell Nando's sauce at The Fresh Market
Administrator
Reply
Nando's sauces stink. There's a million hot sauces to choose from. Most of them are actually hot ...
Administrator
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They had to buy a 4COP Quota license for the Township location in Tallahassee; some places are asking $450K for a Leon County license. A MAJOR blunder by restaurant experts like TRP. I wonder if that changes the calculus for opening another location here? Licenses are cheaper here, but why open a venue that doesn't fit the FL model for a restaurant with a liquor license?
Administrator
Reply
Some news on this; it appears that the Tallahassee location had their 4COP revoked; my guess would be failure to make the 50% food to alcohol requirement. It appears they get until the end of September to obtain another license. Do they buy a 4COP or do they eliminate hard alcohol?

A pretty big blunder by The "Restaurant People".
Scottstlfl
Reply
Threatens to make the Tilted Kilt look like a good idea. Brilliant.
Jen
Reply
I love the "German Fusion". So funny.
Joe
Reply
Maybe they'll put the periperi chicken on the menu?

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