The FTL Collective would like to thank everyone who helped make our 1 year anniversary party last Saturday so amazing. It’s kind of risky to recite a list of everyone we want to thank because we’re bound to forget someone, but we’re going to do it anyway.

Thanks to the people behind The Bubble for letting us throw our birthday bash at your space. That includes everyone from the door people to the bartenders to the people that helped set up and clean up. Thanks to Manifest Test Subject, Lavola, Ryan Alexander, Retrocities, Brady Newbill, The Goddamn Hustle, and Travalonia for the great performances. Thanks to all the artists who showcased their incredible work at our party: Ari Justin Rothenberg, Luzalma Gonzalez, Rachel DeJohn, Laura Atria, and South Florida Camera Club members Danny Hammontree, Tracy Mendy, Nancy Goldwin, Jayne Villamizar, Lauren Britz. Thanks to Frank for cooking up some delicious food on the grill. Thanks to Kimber Kirton (Penelope Lane Photography) for bringing her zany photo booth. Thanks to Green Room for donating some delicious bottles of vodka for the party. Thanks to every single person that attended the party. It really meant a lot to us to see everyone out there. And thanks to everyone who has taken the time to check out our website over the past year. We appreciate all of our readers, even the ones that couldn’t make it this past Saturday.

If you weren’t able to make it, here are some tunes from some of the bands that performed. Enjoy.

Manifest Test Subject – Castle Crashers
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The Goddamn Hustle – Bodies
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Ryan Alexander – Catacombs & Caves (acoustic)

Retrocities – City Nights and Written By Machinery (live @ Propaganda)

Travalonia – Camera Failure (live @ The Bubble)



Bluejay’s Cafe Update

We don’t want to assume anything but we can only hope this doesn’t mean what we think it means: that Bluejay’s Cafe on Himmarshee might be closed for good.  The restaurant which was suddenly and mysteriously packed up almost three weeks ago now has the card of a Ft Lauderdale business tax worker taped to the front doors.  Bluejay’s opened last summer and quickly hit it off with their gourmet Southwestern dishes and popular breakfast burritos.  It seemed to be the perfect addition to the area and appeared to do well, its outdoor seating area frequently full.  Check out our review from last year, some mouthwatering breakfast photos here, and let’s cross our fingers that this tasty joint isn’t gone for good!

Dania Jai-Alai Sold, Sort Of

By Strawberry Jam

Dania Jai-Alai

Photo by Strawberry Jam

It was recently announced that the Dania Jai-Alai is set to close in September on an $80 million sale.  For some, it will be a bitter end to a vintage sport that has been around for thirty-plus years.  But according to the president and CEO of Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming which owns the space, Dania Jai-Alai “no longer fits our current growth strategy.”  It is supposedly being sold to private investors through an all-cash deal.  You can read the article in Forbes here.

Dania Beach has long been known as a quirky place. It is Broward’s first city (incorporated in 1904), “stuck in the past” some might call it, and known for it’s antiquing.  Sorry to say, but it might be time for a facelift.  Last summer, the Dania Beach Press (which apparently does not have a website) stated that the Pirates Inn (located just West of the Jai-Alai) was hoping to be marketed to a supermarket of sorts, possibly a Trader Joe’s.  You’ll have to take my word for it as we don’t have the actual article and it was in print, but you can read a similar, less specific Sun-Sentinel article about it here.  Little information is known at this time as to whether or not live jai-alai will continue.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?  Many argue that Dania would be one of the last on the list of Trader Joe’s openings, whose current closest locations are in Georgia and South Carolina.  At the same time, I think it can be said that Dania is a nice buffer between populated cities such as Aventura and Ft Lauderdale which already have a similar market (Whole Foods).  Weigh in on your opinions in the comments.

A Damn Shame: Pirate Bar is Closed

by Fat Hand

This past weekend after having just arrived at FTL beach, I caught wind of an unfortunate rumor: the Pirate Bar had closed down. I went to see for myself and indeed, the wooden pirates stationed along the alley were gone and the doors, or openings, or whatever you want to call them, were shuttered. Pirate vacation, perhaps. Temporarily closed by health inspectors, seemed likely. But a quick check of their website confirmed the worst: Pirate Bar on FTL beach is gone. Cue the violins. Leave a bouquet of black lilies. A bar that seemed more Ft. Lauderdale than Ft. Lauderdale itself often seems, is no more.

Now, there are a couple pieces of information that may provide some silver lining:

First, as you know, and as the website linked above points out, there is another version of the pirate bar located in the old Shirttail Charlies location downtown on the south bank of the New River. It’s a good bar, has a full menu, tons of space, a pool, and outdoor picnic tables right on the dock. But the vibe is more Shirttail Charlies than it is Pirate Bar on FTL beach. It can never compete with the grungy, laid back, rock & roll feel of the original. For this blogger, it will never replace wasting away late afternoons at the beach, alternating between sake bombs and buckets of Polar beer, dangerously playing that ring game across a public alley, listening to rock music turned up a little too loud.

Second piece of info: I stopped in the pirate gift shop next door and asked the young lass working the counter what she knew of the situation. She says the landlord is taking over the bar and is currently working on renovations. The bar (or some bar) will supposedly re-open in the future.

We shall see how closely the new bar will resemble the Pirate Bar, if at all. Maybe it will re-open, seem exactly the same, and we will forget the original ever closed. Maybe. But no matter what opens in that location, be sure to go back at least one time, order a couple sake bombs if they are available, and pour one out for your old pirate friends.

a favorite Ft Lauderdale Beach hangout closes its doors

Ft Lauderdale Beach's little Pirate-themed dive closes up

National Lampoon: Underground For A Reason?

the national lampoon underground logo


A couple months ago the FTLC visited the National Lampoon Underground on Ft. Lauderdale beach just south of Sunrise Boulevard. While we enjoyed the comedy and recommended checking it out, we also questioned whether a sparsely attended comedy club could survive at an obviously expensive location without making certain improvements (our suggestions included losing the dreadful “Naitonal Lampoon” as well as hosting local music). Well, being from Ft. Lauderdale, we obviously should have considered another option: they could support an expensive and under-attended comedy club via Ponzi scheme.

Yes, the President and CEO of National Lampoon Inc was recently arrested for defrauding investors in a $200 million Ponzi scheme. Read about it here and here.

Now, the suggestion that the Ponzi scheme is an any way connected to the comedy club on FTL beach is pure speculation, of course. And we wish the Underground nothing but the best, although we would more enthusiastically support a locally owned comedy club in the same (or another) location rather than a club run by an out-of-state company controlled by a thief. But other businesses in this fine city have been supported (for a time) via Ponzi before. And using those businesses as a guide, you should probably check out National Lampoon Underground sooner rather than later.

Say Bye-Bye Borders

As one of the 200 of 500 stores set to close by April, Borders Ft Lauderdale will begin offering 30-50% off everything in its store today. Previously 10-30% off (?), nothing really seemed like a steal but this might warrant another once-over.

Borders Ft Lauderdale
2240 E. Sunrise Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304